Government shutdown forces change to school lunch menu in rural county

Government shutdown forces change to school lunch menu in rural county
Students in this North Carolina county will receive minimum meals to conserve food and funding, the school system says.

VANCE COUNTY, NC (WRAL/CNN) - It’s clear that the people at Vance County Schools put a lot of thought into school lunches.

Now some of the items will be cut because of the government shutdown.

County statistics show that in the county, 90 percent of students qualify for free or reduced meals at school.

That’s why Cynthia Davis said she worries about the impact it will have on her own daughter, Anaya Oliver, who is in eighth grade.

Starting next week, the county’s menu will change.

The school system announced that it is moving to minimum meals consisting of two vegetables, bread, fruit and milk.

There will be no more fresh produce for middle and high school students.

At elementary schools, they'll get it only twice a week.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said school meal funding is in place through March.

“As the federal government shutdown continues, it affects our small, rural school system more quickly than school districts which have much larger fund balances," said Terri Hedrick, public information officer for the school system.

At the state level, the Department of Public Instruction said it has not advised any school districts to make changes as yet but said the decision is up to each district independently.

Copyright 2019 WRAL via CNN. All rights reserved.