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Lunchroom Worker Says She Was Fired For Letting Student Eat Without Paying

Posted at 9:52 AM, May 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-17 09:59:19-04

(CNN) — A New Hampshire cafeteria worker says she was fired after she allowed a student with no money to eat.

When a student at a New Hampshire high school put items on his tray that he didn’t have the money for, lunchroom employee Bonnie Kimball didn’t think it was a big deal.

She told the student to make sure to pay the next day. She wasn’t worried as she had known the boy’s parents since they were children, and had no doubt that the $8 lunch tab would soon be taken care of.

The parents paid the next morning, CNN reports.

However, a week later she was fired by the district manager of Café Services, the food services company that employed her.

A photo of her termination letter provided to CNN shows that the company accused her of violating its procedures as well as federal and school policies. The letter was dated April 9 and said Kimball was fired April 4.

“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, in strict violation of our Cash Handling Procedures, the Schools Charge Policy and Federal Regulation governing free meals,” the letter reads. “Your final paycheck has been processed and disbursed to you.”

Jaime Matheson, human resources director for Café Services, said in a statement that the student wouldn’t have gone without a meal.

“The student in question did receive a lunch. 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,” Matheson said.

CNN has not received comment from the school.