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Child nutrition programs could be affected if government isn't funded

Posted: 10:50 PM, Jan 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-11 04:50:58Z

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Delays to the federal government shutdown could end up hurting communities relying on meals to get through the day.

One organization is holding its own right now, but if no federal funding comes in, the group said cuts could come to a federally funded child nutrition program.

430 children participate in Head Start programs in Muskogee receive a breakfast, lunch and a snack every day.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reimburses meals prepared and purchased by Green Country Behavioral Services.

“We need that funding. I mean our kids need to eat. They need to eat healthy to stay healthy,” said Patti Elward, Head Start Parent and Employee.

Green Country Behavioral Health Services said it receives about $30,000 that runs through the Head Start Program.

Officials said told they have the funding right now to last them about 90 days, but if the federal government doesn’t reopen and that money isn’t reimbursed to them there could be some cuts to the program.

“We are looking at the possibility of cutting our food program, so a lot of our children are food insecure, so they’re looking at the three meals they have in our program day as very important because sometimes they don’t know if they’re going to have dinner when they go home at night,” said Christin Bolinger, Muskogee Head Start Program Manager.

Green Country Behavioral Health Services said the last time they had to make cuts to a federally funded program was when the federal government was going through sequestration.

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