‘We’re in uncharted waters.’ Schools brace for lunch funding challenges if shutdown continues

January 21, 2019 | Time

Some high-poverty school districts are bracing for the fact that federally funded lunch programs could become a casualty of the government shutdown if it drags on for another month.

At least one district in rural North Carolina is taking precautionary measures, cutting out treats like ice cream and reducing lunch menus to the “minimum level to conserve food and funding” starting Tuesday. The shutdown, which started Dec. 22, is the longest in U.S. history.

“We’re in uncharted waters. We’ve never gone through anything like this before. The shutdown has gone on longer than any other, and we don’t know how long it’s going to last,” Terri Hedrick, spokesperson for Vance County Schools in Henderson, North Carolina, tells TIME.

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