PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - As the government shutdown continues, some local school districts are encouraging furloughed federal employees to apply for free or reduced-priced meals for their kids.
More and more students at Pearl River County schools are qualifying to eat at either reduced prices or free. The program started about a week ago.
"We have a lot of families who work in government positions, especially out at NASA or the Stennis Space Center. So, it’s always important to partner with our parents in their time of need,” said Dr. Alan Lumpkin, PRCSD superintendent. “We want to get that information out to them and let them know that, ‘hey, come back in. You’ve had a change in household income. So, you can re-apply through that process, so your children can take advantage of those opportunities’.”
Pearl River isn’t the only South Mississippi school district offering free or reduced-price lunches for children whose parents are affected by the shutdown. Ocean Springs also has a similar system in place.
Lumpkin says districts are going to this because this is an unprecedented situation.
"After those first few weeks went by we said ‘hey, we need to reach out to our community and help our families through this process’,” Lumpkin added.
In Ocean Springs, parents who think they may qualify can sign up on the school district’s website.