Maryland school system announces fund to pay for student meals amid partial government shutdown

A school system in Maryland announced Thursday the creation of a fund that seeks to provide “a hot meal” for students in need during the ongoing partial government shutdown “and beyond.”

The 10,000 Meals Challenge fund – which has a goal to acquire enough money to pay for 10,000 meals – gives the Prince George’s County Public Schools community the opportunity to help in covering the costs of student meals, Dr. Monica Goldson, the interim chief executive officer, announced in a news release.

The donation total reached $15,000 by Thursday, money which will cover the costs of “more than 5,000 meals,” the news release said.

“With each passing day, the shutdown creates more uncertainty for families across Prince George’s County,” Goldson said. “While the shutdown may have sparked this conversation, the reality is that school meal debt remains a challenge for students, families and schools.”

“Students, school needs and their communities are at the core of our decision-making. I am grateful for our community partners and their continued commitment to our students,” the official continued. “Together, we are making Prince George’s County Public Schools a model for caring throughout the region and one we can all be proud of.”

The partial government shutdown reached its 21st day on Friday as President Trump announced he was holding off on declaring a national emergency on the border.

“The easy solution is for me to call a national emergency,” he said. “But I’m not going to do that so fast as this is something Congress should do and we’re waiting for the Democrats to vote.”

Securing funding for a barrier at the U.S.-Mexico border has put Republicans and Democrats at a crossroads as the partial shutdown continues.

Alex Pappas contributed to this report.