The Washington, DC, Public Schools have begun offering dinner to some 10,000 students at 99 of its 123 school sites, reports the Washington Post. The meal program extension, which is costing about $5.7 million for the current school year, is designed to help alleviate childood hunger, reduce obesity and draw more students to afterschool programs, say district officials.
The program was piloted at a few schools last year and launched in full this fall, adding the District of Columbia to 13 states participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, which provides a $2.92 per meal reimbursement. The menu in DC includes healthier fare such as soy ginger noodles with sweet-and-sour chicken and vegetables, as well as more traditional favorites like pizza. Each meal is accompanied by milk and fresh locally sourced fruit.