(St. Joseph,MO) The longer the government remains on a partial shutdown, the more federal agencies are beginning to dip into their reserve funds. The USDA is using emergency funds to continue supporting the National School Lunch Program through March.
The nutrition program provides free and reduced price breakfast and lunches to over 30 million children across the country.
Nutrition Services Coordinator Brian Tarr said the free and reduced price lunch program in the St. Joseph School District will not be impacted by the shutdown.
“The program is fully funded through March of this year, if the shutdown continues, after that we are not for sure on reimbursements.The only effect would be the school district getting their money in a timely manner, but it will not affect students at anytime,” Tarr said.
According to school district records 71 percent of students in the St. Joseph School District participate in the free and reduced price lunch program.
Tarr said all students receiving food assistance will get their meals regardless of the district receiving reimbursements, any additional charges will be take out of district’s yearly budget.
“Our primary goal is to take care of the students and feed the students and we will do everything we can to maintain a nutritious meal for all students,” Tarr said.
Thursday marks the 20th day of the government shutdown.