Jan. 17, 2019– Mary Greeley News – As the partial federal government shutdown drags on, the 35 million children across the country who rely on free or reduced cost school lunches don’t have to worry — yet.
In a Jan. 9 advisory, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it has enough previously approved funding to reimburse schools for meals provided through the National School Breakfast and Lunch program through the end of February.
Some schools have already cutting back before this date on what they feed the children. All states are NOT are funded through the Department of Agriculture.
South Dakota, my state is one the does not have school lunch funding through the Department of Agriculture. I guess we are a bit more self sufficient that other states. There is a free lunch program, but the State of South Dakota pays for it, all buy its self. No Federal Department of Agriculture Government hand out.
So, you can imagine my surprise today when I seen several states that were now cutting back of feeding the children.
One article says “Should the impasse last beyond that, school districts may need to find emergency funds to cover the cost of food.
Of the 35 million kids served daily through the program, about 66,000 are in Rockland County and around 129,000 in Westchester County, according to state data. For the 2017-18 school year, total federal support for the program was about $120 million.”
So far VANCE COUNTY, NC reported some of the items will be cut because of the government shutdown.
County statistics show that in the county, 90 percent of students qualify for free or reduced meals at school.
Starting next week, the county’s menu will change.
"Vance County Schools has announced that beginning Jan. 21, the school district will begin to provide students with “minimum level” school lunches to conserve funds in the wake of the federal government shutdown." #ncpolhttps://t.co/eLaJ9dDcM0
— Real Facts NC (@RealFactsNC) January 17, 2019
January 21 is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday; All Schools and Offices Closed t is announced. So, the kids and their parents won’t have to worry at least on that day.
The school system announced that it is moving to minimum meals consisting of two vegetables, bread, fruit and milk.
There will be no more fresh produce for middle and high school students.
At elementary schools, they’ll get it only twice a week.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said school meal funding is in place through March.
“As the federal government shutdown continues, it affects our small, rural school system more quickly than school districts which have much larger fund balances,” said Terri Hedrick, public information officer for the school system.
At the state level, the Department of Public Instruction said it has not advised any school districts to make changes as yet but said the decision is up to each district independently.
Here is what they have posted on the school’s web site
VCS Officials Modify Student Lunches
Our school system has taken precautionary measures to conserve food during the federal government shutdown to ensure all students will still receive breakfast and lunch each day at school.
The student meal changes will be effective January 22.
Breakfast for students at all schools will be served each day with no changes. Lunch menus each day will be modified. Students will be served one main dish, instead of the usual two, bread, two vegetables, fruit and milk. Fresh produce will still be provided to elementary students twice each week through the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Program.
Vance County Schools was first notified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on January 4, that the federal government shutdown would affect funds for our school system’s School Nutrition Program.
School system officials subsequently were notified on January 7, by the N.C. State Department of Agriculture that food shipments were only guaranteed to our schools through March. On January 12, the USDA notified school districts that federal funds are only available through March.
Understanding our limited resources (cash reserves), we began planning for the long-term impact to our food service program should the federal shutdown continue. We made the decision to alter our food options to conserve funds as long as possible.
The Vance County Schools child nutrition program is funded through a reimbursement by the Federal Government. A total of 95 percent of our program’s budget is provided through these federal monies. Federal reimbursements for student meals are usually received in our district 30 days after the meals are served.
Our school system has one-and-a-half months of funding reserves on hand to support our child nutrition program once funding is no longer available through the USDA. We recognize that we must plan to make the most of our resources and that we have a responsibility to meet the needs of our children. Our priority is ensuring our students receive breakfast and lunch every day and that continues to be the priority of our school system.
We are committed to providing breakfasts and lunches each day to all of our students.
We will continue to assess our school nutrition services on a regular basis as the shutdown continues.
A fake rumor making the rounds is that FDA inspectors are not inspecting the food we eat. This is another political lie.
“The USDA is one of nine federal agencies that will remain shut down until President Donald Trump and Congress can reach a deal.
At the USDA, which oversees meat, poultry and processed egg products, inspections are still going on because they’re considered essential, but they could slow down as a result of furloughs, the agency has said.
Aside from school meals, the USDA will continue funding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and WIC — which provides aid for new mothers and pregnant women — through the end of February.”