Christie Touts Free Dinner Program For Camden Kids

Christie Touts Free Dinner Program For Camden Kids

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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.

Meanwhile, Gov. Chris Christie's re-election campaign and the state Republican party have less than two weeks to comply with subpoenas from federal prosecutors investigating allegations of political payback.

Subpoenas to the Christie for Governor organization and the Republican State Committee were disclosed Thursday, the same day the Republican governor's campaign announced it had hired a Washington, D.C., law firm in the case.

The subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney's office show an escalating criminal investigation into allegations that Christie's aides created traffic jams in the town of a Democratic adversary.

A state legislative panel investigating the blocking of traffic lanes near the George Washington Bridge also has subpoenaed Christie's re-election organization.

Christie's top political adviser, Bill Palatucci, says it's "wildly premature" to speculate on how the scandal will impact Christie's future.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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