In April, lunchroom employee Bonnie Kimball was fired from her position at Mascoma Valley Regional High School in New Hampshire.
A student brought a lunch tray through the line, with items totaling $8 that they did not have.
Instead of allowing the student to go back to class hungry, she gave the student the food. They agreed to pay for the food at a later date because she had "known the student's parents for years."
Unfortunately, the wrong person witnessed an exchange that most of the public appears to view as a kindness. In Kimball's termination letter, Jaime Matheson, Director of Human Resources for Café Services, stated:
"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 is in strict violation of our Cash Handling Procedures, the Schools Charge Policy and Federal Regulation governing free meals."
In response to public backlash from Kimball's termination, Matheson has argued:
"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."
It appears, according to this statement, that lunch staff have the flexibility to provide students without the funds with a pre-determined lunch. But they lack the freedom to provide them with the items of their choice which raises questions of dietary restrictions or allergies.
Twitter onlookers have been discussing the situation, most raging for justice for the fired employee.
Many question the New Hampshire school lunch company's s compassion, morals and mission in caring for students for terminating someone over $8.
Profit over people at Café Services, Inc.?
The general consensus is clear. People are siding with Bonnie Kimball.
Though the school lunch program's HR—Cafe Services, Inc.—insists the student would not have gone without a meal, the public prefers access to foods of choice, and support for those willing to offer it.
Based on the escalating number of families in need of assisted lunches, this should hardly come as a surprise.