Lunch Lady Fired After Feeding Student Who Could Not Afford $8 Lunch Bill
A New Hampshire cafeteria worker faced the ultimate punishment for extending humanity to one of her students.
Mascoma Valley Regional High School cafeteria worker Bonnie Kimball was terminated after she allowed one of the students to partake in lunch and pay his $8 lunch tab at a later date, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Kimball said she was given a letter by her former employer Cafe Services, which stated that her services were no longer needed. The letter, obtained by Valley News stated Kimball had violated “cash handling procedures, the school’s charge policy and federal regulation governing free meals,”She was also shocked to learn that she was accused of theft over the $8 tab.
Everything transpired on March 28 when Kimball said the student came into the lunchroom and expressed he did not have the funds for lunch. Kimball said she quietly told him to bring in the money when he had it and allowed him to select items a la carte.
“When I rang him up, the student didn’t have any money on their account,” Kimball told Valley News. “So, I have a district manager here, my boss has told me ‘Don’t cause any scenes with the contract’ and I quietly said ‘tell (your) mom you need money.’ ”
She said the decision was not difficult as she’s grown attached to the children after working at the school for 4 1/2 years.
“We know these kids,” Kimball said.
The next day, the student paid for his balance, but Kimball said she was called in by two of her manager’s and let go. According to the Union Leader, the incident occurred while the school was in contract negotiation with Cafe Services.
Kimball told the Union Leader that she was acting under the direction of her manager who in February, reportedly told her to allow students access to the food and to discreetly inform them that they could settle their tabs by adding money to their account at a later date.
In an interview with the Union Leader, School Board Chairman Cookie Hebert said the district’s policy is to feed students even when they can’t pay, however those students are only allowed to receive the “lunch of the day” instead of the “a la carte dishes.”
Two of her former colleagues have quit in protest of Kimball’s treatment.