Lunch lady refuses offer to rejoin after school fired her for handing out free food to hungry student
Bonnie Kimball, a woman who worked at the cafeteria of New Hampshire's Mascoma Valley Regional High School, was fired on April 4 by the administration of Café Services, the food services company which she worked in, for handing out $8 worth food to a student who did not have money. However, after severe backlash, she has been offered her job back a month later, but Kimball has refused the offer, questioning the intentions of the company.
A week before her termination, Kimball had handed the food out to a boy, whose parents she has known for years. She revealed to CNN that she knew he would bring the money he owed another day, which he did. The termination letter handed to her, 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] 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."
"'Do you understand what you did was wrong? That was theft'," Kimball says she was told.
Furthermore, People spoke to Fresh Picks, the school division of Café Services, where they were informed that the incident "violated school and company policy in dealing with our food service and our district manager made a decision he felt was right at the time." However, after discussing the situation with the school district, they came to the realization that it probably was not the right call, and they would be offering to rehire the recently terminated employee and provide her back pay. "We will work with the school district to revise policies and procedures regarding transactions," the company added.
However, Kimball does not seem to be interested in getting her job back, telling CNN in a follow-up interview that the company is doing it to save face and not because they are concerned about her.
Meanwhile, Jaime Matheson, human resources director for Café Services, said in a statement that the student who did not have money would not have gone hungry even if Kimball had refused him the $8 meal. "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," said Matheson, adding that when company policies aren't being 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."