School dinner lady 'sacked after giving child lunch he couldn't pay for'

Bonnie Kimball claims she was fired after she provided a free lunch for a highschool student with no funds on March 28

Bonnie Kimball claims she was fired after she provided a free lunch for a highschool student with no funds on March 28

"Everyone in the school really liked her, and it was a kid who didn't have money for lunch, so I think she did the right thing", senior Morgan Prentiss said.

Jaime Matheson, human resources director for Café Services, told CNN that a pupil would not be left without a meal in these circumstances. The student paid his bill the next day, but Kimball was sacked that afternoon anyway.

Kimball said her direct manager had instructed her in February to let students take food and discreetly tell them to add money to their account, because that supervisor was anxious about the company's pending contract renewal and didn't want to stir up any negative publicity.

DailyMail.com reached out to Cafe Services but did not immediately receive a reply.

According to the newspaper, people in the community have since stepped up to support her, including two fellow workers who quit in protest.

Speaking to Valley News, Ms Kimball said it was a tense time for the company because its contract with the school was coming to an end. 'We got up in the morning, we took care of our families and we went to take care of the kids'.

Kimball said that she was following specific orders from her employer, Manchester, New Hampshire-based Cafe Services.

But the company said it had offered to rehire the employee, provide her back pay and would "work with the school district to revise policies and procedures regarding transactions".

"When established policies and procedures are not followed corrective action is put in place up to and including termination", Matheson said.

Kimball on Wednesday posted the Union Leader report on her firing to her personal Facebook page, and supporters wrote comments of encouragement.

'These guys really took care of our kids.

On April 9, Kimball received a letter from Fresh Picks Café, a division of Café Services, Inc., which detailed the incident and confirmed the apparent reason for her "termination". A 2011 survey found that a majority of the district had unpaid lunch charges and that most dealt with it by offering students alternatives meals.

"I don't believe in taking a kids tray". The USDA also discourages practices that stigmatize students, but allows districts to set their own policies.

The Mascoma Regional School Board voted Tuesday to continue using the company for another year, despite the controversy involving Kimball.

After the student said, "Okay, will do", he went to eat and the manager asked Kimball what the student had on his plate, she claimed.

The school's superintendent says: "School district policy is to make healthy nutritious school meals available to every child, whether or not the child has sufficient funds to cover the cost of the meal".