6% of Korean Schoolchildren Can't Afford Meals
North Jeolla Province has the most schoolchildren who cannot afford meals out of 16 metropolitan cities and provinces nationwide. That is a staggering 11.2 percent.
But by narrower locale, Bonghwa-gun in North Gyeongsang Province had 37.7 percent of schoolchildren who skip meals, meaning two out of five students there would starve without help from the government or charities.
According to a report submitted by the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs to Grand National Party lawmaker Son Sook-mee of the relevant National Assembly committee on Wednesday, 6 percent of elementary, middle and high school students nationwide have to skip meals unless they are provided by external organizations.
In North Jeolla Province, 32,992 out of 294,037 students, or 11.2 percent depend on meal subsidies, the highest figure in the country. North Gyeongsang Province came second with 10.4 percent, or 39,998 out of 384,298 students. Jeju Island came next with 9.2 percent, or 8,827 out of 96,303 students, and Incheon with 8.1 percent, or 35,300 out of 436,177 students.
Ulsan had the lowest proportion of needy students, with 6,525 out of 199,573, or 3.3 percent, and Gyeonggi Province was second lowest with 3.9 percent. Seoul and Busan had 4.2 and 5.6 percent. Small- and mid-sized cities had a higher percentage of students relying on meal subsidies than big cities and suburbs of Seoul.
firstname.lastname@example.org / Jan. 15, 2009 11:15 KST