- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) - Gov. Chris Christie is praising a new pilot program that is offering free hot dinners to students in a half-dozen Camden schools.

Christie spoke Thursday at the Dudley Family School to promote the program, which is now serving between 75 and 125 students at each location where it’s operating.

He says the concept could be expanded across the city, which ranks the most impoverished in the country.

Christie said he’s “always believed that it’s our inherent responsibility to provide every child in the state with a high-quality education” though he has fought lawsuits from a group pushing for more funding for schools in New Jersey’s poorest cities.

The state last year partially took over the Camden school district.

At his event, Christie took questions from schoolchildren but not from reporters.

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