Radio Sandwell Miscellanea

Dinner lady 'sacked' for giving free lunches

2015-06-03 17:31:48

Della Curry© Other Della Curry

A mother of two has claimed she was sacked from her job at primary school for giving free lunches to children without money.

Della Curry had been enjoying her work as kitchen manager of Dakota Valley Elementary School in Aurora, Denver.

But she told CBS that she was fired on Friday for giving hot lunches to pupils who did not have money.

"I had a first grader in front of me, crying, because she doesn't have enough money for lunch. Yes, I gave her lunch," Mrs Curry told TV station CBS Denver.

That is reportedly against the rules, which state a child who forgets his or her lunch and fails to qualify for a subsidised lunch gets a hamburger bun with one slice of cheese in it and a small milk.

But Mrs Curry, who has in the past paid for children's lunches out of her own pocket, said she did not think that was enough.

"I'll own that I broke the law," she told CBS.

"The law needs to change."

Parents are reportedly urging the school to reinstate Mrs Curry, saying she should be admired for her compassion, rather than punished for it.

"Do something different than fire her. She's trying to help," said Darnell Hill.

Mrs Curry remains happy with her action, saying she plans to work towards getting the system changed.

"If me getting fired for it is one way that we can try to change this, I'll take it in a heartbeat," she said.

Cherry Creek School District, which is responsible for managing the school, said in a statement: "The law does not require the school district to provide the meal to children who have forgotten their lunch money, that is a district decision.

"According to our practice, we provide hot meals to students the first three times they forget their lunch money and charge their parents’ accounts. The fourth time, we provide a cheese sandwich and milk.

"The district has worked to keep lunch prices low and still meet the federal nutrition requirements.

"The costs of our lunch programme are not covered by the prices we charge.

"At the end of the year, any unpaid accounts revert back to the general fund which also covers instruction, security, building maintenance and overall operations."


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