A school lunch lady has been dismissed after giving a student lunch despite him not being able to pay for it, CNN reports.
Bonnie Kimball was stunned when made to leave her position at Mascoma Valley Regional High School in New Hampshire because she had told the boy he could pay his $8 for the lunch the next day, which he did.
Kimball, who had worked at the school for four and a half years, claims she was fired about a week later by the district manager of Café Services, the food services company she was employed by.
"'Do you understand what you did was wrong? That was theft,'" Kimball says she was told when she was dismissed on April 4.
A photo of her termination letter, dated April 9 and obtained by CNN, reveals that Café Services accused the former lunch lady of violating their procedures in addition to federal and school policies.In an entirely separate case, a lunch lady at a Colorado school was also fired for giving free lunch to first graders who had no money:
"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," the letter reads.
"This is in strict violation of our Cash Handling Procedures, the Schools Charge Policy and Federal Regulation governing free meals. Your final has been processed and disbursed to you."
Jaime Matheson, human resources director for Café Services, said in a statement that the student would not have gone without a meal.
"The student in question did receive a lunch," Matheson said. "Students who come up to the lunch line without money receive a lunch of an entrée or sandwich plus side dishes or fresh fruit and milk. An employee of the company would not be let go because they provide this lunch to a student."
"We can't get into specifics because personnel decisions are confidential to honor privacy, however, employees receive and sign their acknowledgment to company policies," he continued. "When these aren't followed, corrective action is put in place, up to and including termination. We're all proud of our ability to provide meals to those in need."
According to Kimball, two lunchroom employees quit in response to what they deemed to be an unfair dismissal.
"We miss [the students] very much and wish we could still feed them every day," she said.
A gofundme page titled 'funds to help lunch lady' has been set up in support of Bonnie Kimball.