School lunch funding could be affected by shutdown
COLUMBIA- The government shutdown is affecting business and agencies all over the country. However, it could also impact schools. School lunches for Columbia Public Schools are provided by their Nutrition Services department and are federally funded.
Nutrition Services director Laina Fullum says funding is not guaranteed after January.
"After January, it will be debatable as to whether or not we will be funded because money is pulled through the state from the federal government to pay for lunches," said Fullum. "They're telling us that it is secured for December and January, but February is questionable."
According to Fullum, though budget claims for December are not finished, the total for the 2017-2018 school year is an estimate of over $450,000.
Ultimately, if the government does not re-open soon, Nutrition Services is prepared to find a way to continue providing lunches for children.
"We'll continue to feed them somehow. Right now, we have a balance that will help to get us through for another additional month. That will carry us through for a little while, but eventually we'll need some funding," said Fullum.