A school cafeteria worker's kindness - giving lunch to student who had no money - may have gotten her fired

17 Mai 2019 | by Diana Kendall

After five years on the job, a New Hampshire school cafeteria worker, Bonnie Kimball, was fired by her employer, a vendor that supplies food to the Mascoma Valley Regional High School in Canaan, a day after she gave a student lunch, even though he couldn't pay for it, the Valley News reported. 

  • A school cafeteria worker's kindness - giving lunch to student who had no money - may have gotten her fired

As a Cafe Services employee, Kimball was in charge of running the cash register at the school, where she would also make ice cream sundaes and smoothies for the student body of 326 children every day.

 On March 28, a district manager was on site due to the nearing end of Cafe Services contract with the school, and Kimball said she was told, 'Don’t cause any scenes with the contract.'

Under this directive, Kimball said when a student's account showed no funds, she quietly told him, "Tell your mom you need money,"  and provided the student with a lunch. 

She claims the district manager asked what was on the boy's plate and walked away, and the next day she was called into the office and fired.

A spokesperson for Manchester-based Cafe Services said in a statement on Thursday that it 'would never authorize an employee to not feed a student or staff member a meal.'  

'Although we are not at liberty to discuss the confidential details regarding an employee's employment or termination from employment, we can share that the company has policies and procedures in place that are shared with and acknowledged by team members,' Jaime Matheson, the director of human resources, said in a statement. 

'When established policies and procedures are not followed corrective action is put in place up to and including termination.'

Kimball provided a letter dated April 9 to the Valley News, which appeared to confirm her reasoning behind being let go.

The letter read: 'On March 28, a District manager was on-site and witnessed a student coming through the line with multiple food items that you did not charge him for. This is a strict violation of our Cash Handling Procedures, the Schools Charge Policy and Federal Regulation governing free meals.' 

Parents at the school also said they were upset by Kimball's sudden departure and demanded she be rehired.

'These guys really took care of our kids. They put our kids first and their focus was really our kids,' Christina Moodie, whose son attends the high school, said. 'I know Bonnie went above and beyond for the kids.'

'I’m just dealing with so much right now: the public, paperwork. One minute I’m mad and the next minute, I just want to forget it all happened,' I guess, I’m mourning my job.', concluded Bonnie Kimball.

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