CAMDEN - Students in six Camden schools are taking part in a new after-school dinner program.

Each of the schools is providing hot meals at the end of the school day to between 75 and 125 students.

The pilot program is in partnership with ARAMARK, a food service and clothing supplier with various state and federal contracts.

Camden has struggled with high poverty and crime rates, as well as a high dropout rate in its school system.

"It goes without saying that when our students are eating a healthy meal and are leading healthy lives they perform better in the classroom," says Camden Schools Superintendent Paymon Rouhanfard.

Gov. Chris Christie made the announcement at a program Thursday. "I am thrilled that these children at these six schools are getting that hot meal before they start their homework," he says. "I think its going to make a big difference in their lives."

Camden school officials say if the results are encouraging, they will try to expand the free dinner program to the entire county.