This Elementary School Kitchen Manager Fired For Giving Free Lunch To Hungry Students
On Friday, May 29, officials at the Cherry Creek School District of Metro-Denver handed Mrs. Della Curry her walking papers. The married mother of two worked in the school cafeteria serving lunches to elementary school children. According to Mrs. Curry, she was terminated for cause because she violated school policy in giving lunches to children who did not qualify to receive them or lacked the funds to buy them. According to school policy, children from household’s whose median income is below $31,000 receive a free lunch under the federal school lunch program. Those children from households with a median income under $45,000 receive lunch at a reduced price.
Sadly, there are children from households with incomes above those thresholds which lack the resources to provide their children an adequate meal. The school district does have a safety net for those who still do not qualify for a meal; they receive a simple cheese sandwich using a hamburger bun and a pint of milk. Mrs. Curry says that meal is often insufficient to fill the tummy of growing children. In good conscience, she could not bear to see a first grader crying out of hunger without providing the child a meal. Mrs. Curry insists that often times she would cover the cost of the meal herself using her own money. At the same time, she acknowledges that she violated school policy and does not fault her employer for terminating her. It bears mentioning that people fired for cause do not qualify for unemployment income.
However, her former employer now claims that her kindness in the kitchen was not the cause of her termination. Apparently, the school is eager to refute the image of terminating an employee for administering relief to hungry teary-eyed children innocently caught up in a bureaucratic school lunch program. In a public statement, the school claims they fired her for a series of other unrelated charges. The school claims there are many documented instances of Curry violating school policies. It is therefore left to the public to conclude that Mrs. Curry’s charitable works in the kitchen, which clearly violated school policy, played no role in her termination.