Bonnie Kimball: Food vendor Fresh Picks Café has denied firing Bonnie Kimball for feeding a hungry student who couldn’t pay.
According to school officials, Bonnie Kimball should have provided the “meal of the day” instead of a la carte items.
Bonnie Kimball fired:
Mascoma Valley Regional High School lunch lady Bonnie Kimball was fired April 4th, 2019 after a district manager saw her let a student take $8 worth of a la carte food he could not pay for on March 28.
Kimball said she had been instructed by her direct manager to allow students to take food if they could not pay, and discreetly remind them to have their parents add money to their school lunch accounts.
The boy who got the $8 worth of free food came back the next day and reportedly paid the debt.
Two other Cafe Service employees quit after Kimball was fired.
Reacting to the outrage her sack sparked, Fresh Picks Café, a division of Café Services, Inc., said they would never sack anyone over an $8 lunch debt.
Jaime Matheson, Cafe Services’ human resources director said in a statement:
“Fresh Picks Café, a division of Café Services, Inc., would not authorize an employee to not feed a student or a staff member a meal.
“When a student does not have the funds available to pay for a lunch there are set procedures to ensure the student is provided a meal.”
Bonnie Kimball had spent four and a half years working in Mascoma Valley Regional High School lunchroom. She knew all the students in the small school and was familiar with their circumstances.
Her most recent annual review was completed just a few weeks before she was fired and the review said that she was a valued member of the Cafe Services team.
Her supervisor wrote that Bonnie was dependable and reliable, willing to work extra hours to cover other’s time away. Bonnie was praised her for creating a smoothie program in the lunchroom and for being willing to help with special functions.
Kimball does not have another job and she told Valley News that she is still “in mourning” for her lost job, where she says she felt like a member of the family.
A GoFundMe page to support Bonnie is currently trending.