Giving free food is something that a lot of people wanted to do if given the chance. But when this lunch lady fed students in need but ended up losing her job.
Bonnie Kimball is a lunch lady at Mascoma Valley Regional High School in Cannan, New Hampshire. Nearly a third of the students in this school are recipients of free lunches. These free meals include daily entree, fruit, vegetables, and milk. They also offer some a la carte options like sports drinks, chips, and other items that children would love.
On March 28, 2019, Kimball was going about with her duties that day when a student approached her and said he will not be able to pay for his lunch. Any staff would have easily turned that student away, but not Kimball. She wanted to help so instead of denying the hungry child his lunch, she let him take some food and paid the next day.
Then the following day, the child brought his $8 and paid for what he owed.
So basically, that meal was not given for free. She just lets the child take some food because going half-day without anything on your stomach will not make you feel good. Kimball only wanted to help. But a district manager was there to witness what happened.
And this did not go unnoticed but not in the most positive way. Instead of praising Kimball for her kindness, the school board came together and fired her instead.
Doing good for others is not a sin. So Kimball decided to take her story online and shared it with her social media account. Her post got the attention that she was hoping to achieve.
When her post went viral, the school superintendent, Amanda Isabella started receiving complaints from parents. Her inbox started to get cramped with hate mails. But she explained that she does not have anything to say with regard to her decision to fire the lunch lady.
She believes that instead of holding the responsibility on the vendor, the school should blame the workers instead. Which is why she did not have any problem deciding to fire Bonnie Kimball.
With the amount of backlash that the school board received, they decided to offer Kimball her job back. They even offered to give her back pay. But she refused the offer. She felt that the school did not really care about her and they were only doing this because they want to come clean from the negative attention that they are getting. Bad publicity is not good for the school’s reputation.
She explained that during her training, they were specifically told not to draw attention to a student who is not able to afford their meal. And when she did what she was trained to do, she got into trouble instead. She said that she was saddened by how much the situation has caused her job. She believes that a person with a kind heart would have done the same thing she did.
Nobody wants to see a student go hungry and no doubt, Bonnie Kimball is one of these people. She has a big heart, especially for children, but she felt that the school did not see the compassion that she had for the children in need.