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Putin suggests providing 1st to 4th graders with free hot meals

Putin admitted that this decision provoked numerous discussions

MOSCOW, January 15. / TASS /. All elementary school students in Russia from the first to the fourth grades should be provided with free hot meals, said Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday in his annual State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly.

"I propose to provide free hot meals to all elementary school students from the first to the fourth grades," he said. President Putin admitted that this decision provoked numerous discussions.

"Colleagues in general do not object to this, not because they do not want to support the children. They say that it is not very fair that people with decent incomes and low incomes will receive the same support from the state that is the logic - it is true. But there is a logic that is characteristic of our society as well. Everyone should feel equal: children and parents, who are often humiliated by the current situation, should not feel that they cannot even feed a child," President Putin explained, expressing his confidence that the measure will be justified.

According to the president, funds from three sources must be used for its implementation: federal, regional and local. In addition to the financial component, the president emphasized, the infrastructure should be updated in schools, canteens and cafeterias should be equipped, and systems for supplying quality products should be set up.

"It will, of course, take time. In regions where there is technical readiness, free hot meals should be available as of September 1, 2020. I ask other colleagues to step up on this work. No later than September 1, 2023, elementary school students across the country should be provided with quality free hot food," President Putin said.