GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN: School lunches may be cut - Fox 2 News Headlines

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN: School lunches may be cut

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Minnesotans are adjusting to the partial government shutdown, but if it lingers too long, there is a chance the 300,000 kids who rely on free or reduced lunches at school could go hungry.

"It's hard to speculate exactly how much time before that becomes an issue," said Josh Collins, with the Minnesota Department of Education.

Most of the discounted lunch programs are federally funded, along with 60 percent of statewide staff. If the shutdown is prolonged, furloughs could be on the horizon.

"We have informed them. We are looking closely," Collins said.

Martha Faust is married to a teacher, and she's waiting to see if he'll be able to take his students on a planned trip to Washington, DC, during the break that is coming up just a few weeks from now.

"Those kids save money and fundraise, and they don't know if it's going to be happening at this point," Faust said.

The state is also straining in other areas. More than 1,000 Minnesota National Guard members were furloughed on the first day. On day two, Gov. Mark Dayton's chief of staff and the state's management and budget commissioner voiced concerns via a conference call.

"We are not in a position where we can just fill gaps that are created by their political breakdown," Tina Flint Smith said. "We are Minnesotans here, and we are trying to minimize the effects on real peoples' lives -- on people that count on these programs, but we don't print money either."

Meanwhile, the blame game continues on Capitol Hill, leaving many parents to hope the kids aren't the ones who end up losing due to the political sparring.

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