Facebook | Bonnie Kimball

Lunch Lady Breaks Silence After Being Fired For Feeding Student Without Money

Most people working in school systems across the country are not simply "teachers" or "janitors" who see their jobs solely as a source of income —they are individuals who dedicate their lives to teaching, raising, and helping the next generations.

Throughout my education, the selflessness of these teachers and school staff have never ceased to amaze me.

Bonnie Kimball dedicated her life to serving kids lunches at Mascoma Valley Regional High School.

Unsplash | Nicole Honeywill

Her story garnered national attention after she was fired from her position for feeding a student who had $8 still owing on his lunch tab.

In her mind, there wasn't a decision to make. She had a duty to the kids of the school first and foremost.

She claims that she was "doing what she was told to do."

Facebook | Bonnie Kimball

“I have a district manager here, my boss had told me ‘Don’t cause any scenes with the contract’ and I quietly said ‘tell (your) mom you need money,'" she explained. "The student replied, 'OK, will do,' and continued on with his lunch. "

The district manager asked her what the student had on his tray, and then walked away.

Kimball was fired the day after the incident

Facebook | Bonnie Kimball

“It was my life for five years," she told Valley News, " I went and I took care of another family,” she told Valley News. “You don’t just lose a family member, be OK and move on.”

Two of Kimball's co-workers quit in protest.

Facebook | Bonnie Kimball

Even parents of children attending the school have spoken out in support of Kimball.

"These guys really took care of our kids," said one parent. "They put our kids first and their focus was really our kids."

Another parent said that she knew Bonnie "went above and beyond for the kids."

Kimball has explained that the kid who owed the lunch money even paid his tab the very next day.

Facebook | Bonnie Kimball

“His family is very well known in this town and I can guarantee that if I called his mother, she would have come right in and paid the bill," she said. "I know they would have brought the money the next day. The bill was going to get paid."

Since the release of the story, Kimball has been offered her job back.

Facebook | Bonnie Kimball

She is weary of the offer, saying that she thinks Fresh Picks, the school lunch division of Cafe Services, is only hiring her back so that it can keep its contract with the school.

Though Cafe Services originally supported Kimball's termination, they released a tweet denying her account of what happened:

"Fresh Picks Cafe, a division of Cafe Services, Inc., would never authorize an employee to not feed a student or a staff member a meal."

She has since declined the offer.

Facebook | Bonnie Kimball

Though, the attention she has gotten from the story has been beneficial in a different way.

Kimball has recently also been offered a job working for world-renowned chef Jose Andres, who saw her story:

"If she needs a job we have openings at @thinkfoodgroup if you know her, let her know!”

Kimball has not yet stated whether she will be accepting any other offers for work.

h/t: Cafe Mom