A dinner lady has reportedly been fired after she let a child have a lunch he didn’t have the money to pay for.
Bonnie Kimball said she didn’t believe it was a huge deal and had said to the pupil to pay the next day, convinced that he would, and sure enough, she said he gave her the $8 (£6.29) he owed the next day at the Mascoma Valley Regional High School in New Hampshire, US.
Bonnie states however that she was fired about a week later by the district manager of Café Services, the food services company that employed her.
The dinner lady, who had served at the school for four and a half years, maintains the food services company accused her of theft, and a spokesperson for the company stated that the pupil wouldn’t have gone without a meal as students who go to the lunch line without money can get a starter or sandwich plus side dishes or fresh fruit and milk.
But a letter seen by CNN told Bonnie that on March 28, a District Manager was on-site and saw a pupil coming through the line with various food items that she didn’t charge him for, but evidently this is a strict breach of their Cash Handling Procedures, the Schools Charge Policy and Federal Regulation governing free meals.
But a statement by Jaime Matheson of the Café Services states they would not let an employee go because they provided this lunch to a student.
A gofundme page titled ‘funds to help lunch lady’ has been set up, and according to reports, two other members of lunch staff have quit in protest.
This is shocking in Donald Trump’s America, perhaps they would have prefered that she be tasered, peppered and shot? This world gets sicker by the day with selfishness and greed that reign supreme. Well done to this lovely woman and shame on this company of leeches.
We should be sending this lady to the top of the class, and as for her employers, detention and they must write a million lines “I must not act like a sewer rat”. But then it’s profit before people and the United Kingdom is heading down the same road, and don’t get me wrong, the private sector has its strengths, however, it should never be allowed near health care, education or social housing because they have no compassion towards people.
Yes, let’s starve the children who have no money for food because I can remember when a school dinner was a good dinner. I can remember when dinner was at school with a plentiful meal, plus sponge pudding and custard, and a drink, definitely enough to satisfy a child’s belly for the rest of the day until they got home, now children scarcely have enough money for a sandwich and a drink.
What a savage nation we now live in, and the people who were in charge clearly didn’t have a clue, or simply didn’t care, they should have given her a warning, but to sack her was truly horrifying, and instead of dismissing this humble lady this could have had a surprisingly positive outcome, however, the parents and pupils should have protested themselves, and should have done all that they could to put this company under, and certainly not bought their food, but instead, they should have sent their children in with a packed lunch with a little extra for those other children that may not have had any, that’s how we all stand together to be strong and more professional and caring than this catering company.
School food should be free or at least subsidised because for some children it is their main meal of the day. These children are our future, and we should really be caring for our children, and if the student paid the next day there was no loss to the lady or the food service, and it appears like this company had a grudge against her and simply wanted to find some way of getting rid of her.
It’s not compulsory for your child to attend school, but it is compulsory to educate, this is why so many parents choose to educate their children at home now, but school meals should be free, and so should school uniform, and this company has fired this unfortunate lady for what? I would love to see how much food is wasted and thrown out at the end of the day, so one small dinner wouldn’t really make much of a difference.
However, this lady has since been given a job by celebrity chef and well-known foodie philanthropist Jose Andres which made headlines after he gave the recently fired lady a place at one of his businesses, and taking to Twitter, Jose Andres chose to draw attention to what many felt was a shocking miscarriage of justice, after Bonnie Kimball from New Hampshire was fired for providing a student with a free lunch.
Posting on the social media platform, Andres wrote, “New Hampshire school cafeteria worker fired for giving food to a student who couldn’t pay – WHBQ! The hero is Bonnie Kimball! If she needs a job we have openings at @thinkfoodgroup if you know her, let her know!” He also included a link to a website containing details of the original story.
And while it would be easy to dismiss the tweet as a chance to raise his public profile, there’s evidence that Andres was deadly earnest about the proposal, and in addition to reaching out over social media, it’s been alleged that Andres also got in touch with Bonnie Kimball by telephone.
Such an act of kindness would not be out of turn for the famously generous Andres. His non-profit organisation World Central Kitchen has been massively involved in a number of humanitarian endeavours around the world, including helping in the aftermath of the devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico, feeding Mexican migrants on the border with the United States and giving support to those affected by Californian wildfires in 2018, and given his track record, it’s unsurprising that the chef was tipped for a Nobel Peace Prize last year.
Bonnie Kimball’s story proved especially compelling as it seems to have come about as a consequence of her own small act of kindness, and if reports are to be believed, the lunch lady was discharged for letting a student skip out an $8 lunch fee, on the condition that he would give it back the next day, and even though the pupil did indeed pay for his meal in full less than 24 hours later, Bonnie Kimball was told that she would be dismissed from her position due to company policy.
Jose Andres is not alone in reaching out to the unfortunate lunch lady. In the aftermath of the incident, a GoFundMe was set up by concerned citizens and has received donations calculating $5,000, and even though the reality of being discharged from a job that she had held for over four and a half years was no doubt traumatic for Kimball, there can at least be some morsel of comfort that she has supporters in her corner.