Kind school lunch lady loses her job for 'stealing' after she gave a hungry 12-year-old girl a free meal


Government schools in action.


Ive done that and given a winter coat to a student. I guess that would get a jail sentence.


Yes, of course, the public schools are the tool and source of all evil. Here we go again :rolleyes:

Look, if the meal only cost $1.70, and the worker was willing to pay for it after she got fired, why didn’t she just pay for the meal ahead of time? And if the student truly couldn’t afford to bring a lunch or buy one, why didn’t this woman contact the school office, who could have contacted the family to fill out the paperwork for free or reduced school lunches?

Seriously, she ignored every other simple option and broke the rules. What happens when word gets out that she’ll give a free lunch (or additions to lunch – she was reprimanded for giving a free cookie previously)?

If you don’t like what your parents packed for your lunch, put on a sad face and claim to be starving and poor. This lady will be handing out free lunches to the most convincing liars. And the kids and families who really need the help, aren’t being directed to the government programs that could assist them because this woman wants to play the hero and ignore the rules.


I’m assuming the school didn’t pay for that coat? That you supplied it yourself?

I am a public school teacher and work in an area of high poverty and extreme social need (teenage moms, drugs, gangs, violence…)

We supply our families-in-need with winter clothes, school uniforms, food for weekends and extended school breaks, books for home, school supplies… Staff members have also created (and teach) free classes in English, nutrition, etc. Staff and students also bring non-perishable food for our school’s food pantry, as well as Christmas gifts, and on and on and on.

Our office ladies ask all our parents to fill out the form for free or reduced school lunch when parents register their children for school. Because of this simple request, and because of our high need, all students in our school can have free breakfast and free lunch.

Our lunchroom staff have also set up a “share table” for wrapped food that students put on their tray and then decide not to eat. Anyone can take whatever they want from that table.

Look, there’s nothing wrong with staff members addressing the physical needs of the students in their school. But this needs to be done in a way that has integrity, not stealing.


I understand all that you are saying but….
Sometimes there are situations that do not require protocol.
Last year I volunteered lunch services at a Catholic school. You would not believe the dirty look I got from another volunteer parent because I scooped a little extra food onto the tray for a much larger size student. Really? I was a mix of disgusted and frightened by that parent when she later reprimanded me for the inequity. Mind you…there was obviously plenty to go around with some leftover.

Stealing? I want :mad: and I will :mad: because the woman in the OP article offered to pay the $1.70 to cover the cost.

Sometimes there simply is no time or real need to paperwork milk, 10 extra french fries and a cheese sandwich.


I doubt she was fired for giving out one free cookie and one free sandwich over a period of three years.

I’m thinking there was probably a pattern of short cash registers on her shifts, together with kids expecting/demanding free stuff from other employees, thus creating awkward situations for them.

The free sandwich was likely just the straw that broke the camel’s back - those two incidents were the only ones she was actually caught for, but they wouldn’t have fired her if there wasn’t evidence pointing to this being an on-going habit of hers.

As others have pointed out, the correct course of action is to direct the student to services already provided - a free lunch program, or the like. Or, if this really was a one-time incident, to buy the kid a lunch from her own money, rather than making the school pay for it.


That is totally unfair of you to say this about a situation you know nothing about. Knowing my own single experience at a Catholic school…I am not surprised she was fired.


Must be more to this than meets the eye. People don’t get fired for single minor incidents. I’m guessing that her employers already had a long disciplinary file on her. Without more info this is just another example of shoddy sensationalist journalism.


I see nothing wrong with using your own money to help a student, but I see what the worker did here is very much in line with how our public institutions operate. They are all for doing good with other people’s money, ala, Ted Kennedy. It is fine if you live a life of excess and luxury with the money your father earned, but you become a hero by voting to give away other people’s money. The other thing I dislike about the government way of doing things is that you could be criticized for giving a coat to only one student. You should have given a new coat to everyone rather that just one. That way the kids can learn that they are entitled to new coats from strangers and no one is singled out for being poor. It could hurt a child’s self-esteem.

I could give you more examples of this kind of thinking if you are interested.



A free meal!!!

She is a monster!!!


Schools and other institutions also cannot comment on personnel issues, which gives disgruntled employees a lot of control over a story. It’s amazing how things can be twisted.

Something could be amiss here or not. We don’t really know, and that’s worth keeping in mind.


actually, the schools are the tool of the government and the source of societal woes (well, a major contributor at least).

How dare this person not immediately refer the child to another government office to receive more government provided services. Jamit! government is the ultimate responsible entity in this world! Charity is not allowed!:rolleyes:


If you stole the coat from Walmart, then probably so.


She was fired for breaking rules. If I worked at McDonald’s and gave away food without payment, I would be fired, and rightly so.

Why should we think a school employee should be allowed to give away food for which the government paid and keep her job? :shrug:

I’m sorry some parent glared at you and made you uncomfortable for breaking the Catholic school’s lunch rules. But it’s important to remember when charging families for feeding their children lunch, that there does need to be some sort of equity for those meals.

After all, I’m assuming you didn’t pay for the food you were serving? If you had paid for the food yourself, then you could feel free to hand it out any way you liked. But if the school paid for it upfront and the families paid for their children to eat it, then it is up to the volunteers to honor that arrangement with fairness and equity.


Charity with your goods and your money is allowed. But not with someone else’s goods and money. That’s called stealing. And if you don’t like the government systems, work to change them.


Charity is allowed. But tell me, was the food this employee gave away her own property?

And if it wasn’t her own property, it wasn’t hers to give away, in charity or not.


It’s just conjecture that the child would even qualify for free/reduced lunch. People are assuming that the child was starving and poor and this was the only food they received all week. It could just as easily have been a kid that left their lunch bag on the bus. My youngest brother found out that if he left his lunch on the bus every Friday and told his sad story to the servers, he got to eat “free” pizza! Yum! It was a great plan until the “free” pizzas started to add up and my mother received a bill in the mail for his “charged lunches”.

Either way, it’s entirely likely that the school already had a simple solution for a student who didn’t have a lunch such as a cold lunch bag or a “charge” option. Nearly every public school does. Firing and rehiring an employee over one cookie and one hot state-subsidized-meal seems really unlikely. The school would spend more of their own funds and a whole lot more of their time finding and training a new employee. If that really is how it went down, then it was wasteful and stupid of them. I find it a lot more likely that this particular employee’s pattern of behavior was causing a significant problem.


:thumbsup: Yup.


Would it be appropriate for me to arbitrarily decide another student was much smaller and should get a wee bit less? Just asking.


Precisely. You want to give stuff away, pay for it yourself. Pretty easy to give away *someone else’s money. *

Having said that, she should consider a career in politics. :smiley:

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