Della Curry used to serve as the kitchen manager for the Cherry Creek School District in Aurora, Colorado. Under local law, students who cannot afford lunch receive one slice of cheese on a hamburger bun along with a milk to drink. Curry felt that lunch was insufficient
“I had a first grader in front of me, crying, because she doesn’t have enough money for lunch. Yes, I gave her lunch,” Curry said in an interview with CBS Denver.
Many times, she said she would pay for additional food out of her own pocket, and sometimes she would simply give needy children more food. The school said they were simply following policy when they fired Curry.
The law does not require the school district to provide the meal to children who have forgotten their lunch money, that is a district decision. According to our practice, we provide hot meals to students the first three times they forget their lunch money and charge their parents’ accounts. The fourth time, we provide a cheese sandwich and milk.
The district has worked to keep lunch prices low and still meet the federal nutrition requirements. The costs of our lunch program are not covered by the prices we charge. At the end of the year, any unpaid accounts revert back to the general fund which also covers instruction, security, building maintenance and overall operations.
“If me getting fired for it is one way that we can try to change this, I’ll take it in a heartbeat,” she said.
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