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Government trials free meal program at Tangerang school

Jakarta Globe - February 29, 2024

Alfi Dinilhaq, Tangerang – Students at a state junior high school in Tangerang enjoyed a free lunch on Thursday during the trial of the nationwide free meal program initiated by Prabowo Subianto, the projected winner of the Feb. 14 presidential election.

Prabowo, who has teamed up with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's son as his running mate, has made free meals for children and expectant mothers a central theme of his presidential campaign.

The initiative has received overwhelming support from the current cabinet, which recently held a meeting to draft the budget for its implementation.

If confirmed as the elected president, Prabowo will succeed Jokowi in October and enter 2025 with the annual state budget formulated by the current government.

The free lunch trial was attended by Chief Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto, whose Golkar Party joined the coalition supporting Prabowo's presidential bid and nominated Gibran Rakabuming Raka as the running mate.

Every student at the state school in the Curug district, Tangerang regency, received a lunch package worth Rp 15,000, or approximately $1.

Airlangga said he attended the trial to ensure that the amount of money is sufficient for a nutritious meal for every student.

The children were served with menu choices including chicken rice, boiled egg rice, siomay (fish cake), and gado-gado (salads with spicy peanut sauce).

"We learned how this program is implemented in schools involving small enterprises that provide nutritious and hygienic food," Airlangga said.

The trials were conducted at several schools in Tangerang in different settings: rural, urban, and coastal areas, using the regional budget, Airlangga noted.

The future implementation of the free meal program will be funded by the central government budget, Airlangga said.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/business/government-trials-free-meal-program-at-tangerang-schoo