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US schools fear food dry out as a partial govt shutdown enters day 31

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By AFP

American schools are worried about feeding children school lunches as the record partial US government shutdown continues, with at least one school district already reducing children’s lunches as it fears running out of food.

This was necessary to “conserve food and funding” due to the shutdown, now in a record 31st day, it said in a Facebook post.

“Starting the week of January 21, minimum level means: one main dish, bread, two vegetables, one fruit and milk,” it said.

“No fresh produce will be included, except at elementary schools as part of the Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program,” referring to a federally-assisted program that gives free fresh fruit and vegetables to primary schools.

“This program will be decreased to two days each week.”

“No bottled drinks (water and juice) will be available after the current inventory in stock is used. No ice cream will be available,” the school system added.

“We hope that normal lunch menus can be resumed as soon as possible once the shutdown has ended.”

US department of agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue tweeted on Friday that “child nutrition programs are funded quarterly and are fully funded through the end of March.”

But with US President Donald Trump claiming that the shutdown could go on for “months or even years,” school districts across the country say they are worried about feeding children into the future.