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Government Shutdown Could Drive More Students To Free Lunch Program

Some federal employees are worried they may not get paid this week because of the partial government shutdown. Cincinnati Public Schools says the children of those families may qualify for free meals through the National School Lunch Program.

Food Service Director Jessica Shelly says that's a pre-existing program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"At CPS we're trying to make sure that any family that's been affected by the shutdown, they can submit a meal benefit application to see if their children qualify for free meals, and reduced or free state fee waivers," Shelly says. 

The district can also answer questions over the phone at 513-363-0800.

"We currently have not seen an uptick in the number of families who've been applying for this benefit. But we're under the assumption that might change with the new information that the shutdown might continue for some time."

Shelly says the school lunch program was given priority during the shutdown and is funded through March.