Government spends more on food for duty dogs than on school lunches

The daily food for duty dogs costs the state Br2370. The cost of school lunches is just Br 1750. In the children’s day care centers, kids get lunches worth of Br2260. The state offers slightly more than Br5000 to feed children admitted to hospitals.

According to Uladzimir Vornik, the chief of the cynology service at the Border Control Committee, a duty dog should eat 400 grams of meat, 600 grams of porridge and 300 grams of vegetables per day. This ratio costs Br2370, but that is not enough.

“The specialists who keep the dogs at their homes get a compensation of Br2370 per day instead of foodstuffs. They are given cash once a month and are responsible for feeding the dogs. Definitely, this amount is not sufficient to satisfy all the physiological needs of a dog. I think that cynologists add some money from their salaries”.

The food ratio for dogs is regulated by standards approved by the Finance Ministry of Belarus, according to the chief of the cynology service. The standards are also there for kids’s lunches at kindergartens and schools, but the rates are unfortunately lower than the ones for dogs.

“As from January 1, 2008, there have been new approved standards, regarding the food money. For toddlers who spend 12 hours at a day-care center, the state allocates Br2260 per day”, says an official from the ministry of education. Under the norms, a toddler is expected to eat 47 grams of meat, 500 grams of milk and 20 grams of eggs.

For children aged between three and six, food money rate is set at Br2530 per day. The state spends Br4390 daily to feed orphans of the same age.

Children at kindergartens are fed four times a day. Breakfast includes porridge or a dish from vegetables, coffee, tea or milk. Lunch menu normally includes a salad, a meat or fish dish, garnish and a soft drink. After a mid-day sleep, children get a soft drink, a bun or a piece of cake. In the evening, children eat vegetables, a cottage cheese, porridge and milk, an education department of Maskousky District in Minsk told the European Radio for Belarus.

At schools, only junior grades get free breakfasts, worth Br 1750, the Kastrychnitski District’s education department told the European Radio for Belarus.

“First grades get free lunches; grades between two and four get “express refreshments”, 5 percent of the basic rate”.

School No 54 has only senior grades. That’s why parents have to pay for their children’s food. Only the children from low-budget families get free lunches.

“They are very few, and the government pays for their food: Br2900 per day for those aged between 6 and 10; Br3300 for the children aged 11-13; Br 3500 for those aged 14-17””, said Nina Charapovich, the manager of the school’s canteen.