Where Other Half of School Lunch Gone?

For years, this is the best value lunchbox, or dinner-box, I can get in Taiwan local. Its price jumped from NT$45 (US$1.5) to NT$65 (US$2.24) while a part-timer gets paid NT$103 (US$3.55) per hour if you can get one, but we are not going deep on that here today
Cell phone picture by Don Schumann 

Each student asked to pay NT$45 (US$1.5) each day for school lunches while getting only merely NT$23 (US$0.67) worth's meal

More than 30 administrative-level personnel involved including 10 elementary-school principals from the New Taipei City area, Taiwan, are being investigated for allegedly accepting kickbacks from school lunch dealers

A preliminary investigation, on Oct 29, 2011, showed that the lunch dealers might have bribed the school principals to receive a better evaluation grade, enabling them to make a bid for supplying school lunches, prosecutors said.

Schools usually hold bids for lunchbox suppliers once every semester. To gain an edge, some dealers would add NT$3 to NT$5 per lunchbox as a bribe for school principals, prosecutors said, adding that some school heads were receiving up to NT$200,000 to NT$300,000 (US$10,000) a semester.

Ten school lunch dealers, which supply more than 80 to 90 percent of the city’s elementary school lunches, were also searched yesterday, they said.

Secondary arraignments targeting members of school committees that evaluate these lunches will be held today, they added.

The prosecution has preliminarily excluded other administrative-level personnel at the schools from the investigation, saying school principals are the primary focus at that moment.

As usual, not everyone would get caught, not all will be nailed, then, the penalties might lack bite again. 


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