Gov. shutdown could impact school lunch programs

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PARIS, TX -- Students who receive free and reduced lunches at school may soon feel the impact of the government shutdown.

Schools across the nation send a report at the end of each month to the state to receive reimbursement checks for students that receive free and reduced lunches. State governments receive those funds from the federal government.

With the fed shut down those checks have stopped coming, putting some schools in a bind.

"As of October 1, they are not going to reimburse us for breakfast and lunch," said Grant-Goodland Public Schools Superintendent Buck Hammers.

"If the shutdown continues then we will go into the school general fund and start using our fund balance from our school fund or savings," said Paris I.S.D Superintendent Paul Jones.

Eighty percent of students at Paris I.S.D receive free or reduced lunches and Hammers says 98-percent of his students qualify for the program.

"I don't think that the students should have to pay, because we have some legislators that are simply fighting like children," said Hammers.

But superintendents say they are not going to allow their kids to learn on empty stomachs.

"No kids are going to go hungry," said Jones. "We're going to find a way to feed the kids."

"We'll have to pay for them," said Hammers. "We'll still have to provide lunch, we'll have to provide breakfast and we'll have to go to school."

Schools have not received reimbursements for the month of September due to the shutdown, which began October 1st.

Many schools keep up to three months of cafeteria funding, but once that is used up they would have to go into other funds to feed students who need financial assistance.

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