An old pot, clear vision mark free lunch program

By Yang Jun in Guiyang | | Updated: 2021-04-08 21:53
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Students at Shaba Primary School are served in the canteen on the first day of school in September in Huaxi village of Qianxi, Guizhou province. [Photo by Feng Haijun/For]

Sponsors and volunteers of the "free lunch" program came to visit as meals were served at Shaba Primary School in Qianxi, Guizhou province — marking 10 years since the program was launched in 2011.

The initiative, regarded as a people's livelihood project, has expanded from Guizhou to 26 other provinces and regions, helping more than 370,000 needy students eat steaming lunches at no cost.

Guizhou has a total of 92 schools, and more than 31,000 students who benefit from the project, which provides three dishes and a soup per meal for rural children, keeping them from being hungry on campus and improving their chances to change their lives.

The first free lunch program was launched at Shaba. The students who received those early meals have now graduated from college.

Children now enrolled at the school chat generously and express confidence in their good diet and healthy upbringing. Their Mandarin is much better than that of their parents, so that they often act as translators for local people.

"I'll study hard and become a policeman to protect a lot of people in the future," one child said with confidence.

One of the sponsors of the charitable project, Zhang Yan, said: "After 10 years, we can see the light of wonder in the children's eyes. Their hope is the whole point." She was moved to tears as she recounted her memories.

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