Federal funds could return next week after shutdown

MU Extension nutrition program hopes USDA releases funds by Monday

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Furloughed federal workers are expected to return to the office Thursday, the day after President Obama signed an agreement ending the shutdown and raising the country's debt limit into law.

In mid-Missouri, local program affected by the shutdown said they hoped to get back to work within days.

"We're hopeful we can hear from the USDA and that they'll release our funding within the next few days," said Jo Britt-Rankin, nutrition education program director for the University of Missouri Extension.

That program was being funded in the interim by MU, but that money would have run out by Monday. After October 21, the program would have had to find a way to put about 125 employees on layoff status.

"We've tried to remain optimistic, we were hopeful for a resolution but our staff have been concerned," she said.

Program leaders said the shutdown has left thousands of low-income families without educational programs.

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