Government Shutdown Could Impact School Lunch Programs

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

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By Katie Wiedemann

DUBUQUE, Iowa — More than 200,000 students in Iowa are eligible for free or reduced price lunches at school. If the government shutdown goes on too long, there’s a chance it could affect that funding. The United States Department of Agriculture reimburses each state for the costs of the lunches. The states then give that money to local school districts.

The Dubuque School District says they won’t let that happen. But without knowing how long the shutdown will last, school nutrition directors are keeping an eye on Washington D.C.

About 40% of students in the Dubuque Community School District depend on the federal program. The U.S.D.A reimburses Dubuque Schools about $300,000 each month and that money is used for more than just buying apples.

According to the U.S.D.A there is enough money in the budget to reimburse schools for the rest of October. If the shutdown lasts until November, school officials in Dubuque say they’ll have to come up with a contingency plan.

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