Some West Kentucky School Districts Worry Shutdown's Effects On School Lunches
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue tweeted last week school meal programs are funded through March despite the government shutdown. But some food service and nutrition directors at west Kentucky school districts worry how they’ll fund meals beyond that if the shutdown continues.
Leah Feagin is the food service director at Mayfield Independent Schools in Graves County and also serves as the state chair representative for the School Nutrition Association. Feagin said most Kentucky school districts are asked to have a three month emergency fund for meals. She says some districts may have less than three months of funds.
If emergency funding runs out, she said some school districts could have trouble paying for meals.
“God forbid this went any longer into next school year or what not, then it would be a very, very dire situation for board of educations,” Feagin said.
Feagin and the food service director in Christian County School District, Penny Holt, said in any case, students will continue to be fed quality meals.
“We will continue on. No matter what happens, we will feed the kids. We are going to feed the children,” Holt said.
The School Nutrition Association in a statement released Tuesday say they want President Trump and Congress to resolve the shutdown as quickly as possible to provide future stability for school meal programs.
Kentucky Department of Education data show students at 37 percent of Kentucky schools rely completely on federally-funded free and reduced-price lunches.