ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is directing the state education officials to provide free school lunches to any child impacted by the partial federal government shutdown.

The Democrat said Thursday that meals will be available for children of federal employees as well as students whose families rely on federal benefits that could be delayed because of the shutdown, now more than a month old.

As part of the effort, local districts will contact families that could be impacted by the shutdown to tell them how to sign up their student for free school meals.

The shutdown could have big implications for the state's school meals program if it continues through March. Education officials say that's when federal funds for the program dry up.

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