The USDA also reimburses each county school system for every breakfast and lunch that they serve in cafeterias -- somewhere between 50 cents and $3 per meal, depending on the income of the child's parents.
That funding is not in immediate danger, but faces uncertainty as the shutdown continues.
"Limited carryover funding will be available during a lapse to support FY 2014 meal service," the USDA wrote.
Liza Cordeiro, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Education, said that county school boards could count on federal meal money at least through October.
"Eventually counties would be on the hook for free and reduced lunch, but that's at least a month away," Cordeiro said.
Across the country, about 19,000 kids have been shut out of preschool because the shutdown has cut off funds to Head Start, a federal preschool program.
No Head Start programs in West Virginia have yet been affected because most of them run on a fiscal calendar that starts on Jan. 1, not Oct. 1, said Susan Stafford, the president of the state's Head Start association.
Reach David Gutman at david.gut...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5119.