School Defends Firing Lunch Lady Who Gave Free Lunches, Says No Students Go Hungry

A Colorado school is defending its decision to fire a kitchen manager who gave free meals to students with no money, with administrators saying no students go hungry during the school day.

This week, Della Curry was fired for giving school lunches to students who didn’t have any money. But the officials at Dakota Valley Elementary School dispute her account, saying her termination was for another reason.

In a statement, the Cherry Creek School District noted, “Miss Curry was not dismissed for giving free food to financially disadvantaged students. Numerous documented incidents resulted in the action taken. We are unable to fully disclose all of the details concerning her dismissal without her permission.”

The district defended its decision earlier in the week, when the story began making national headlines.

“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.”

Della Curry had originally told KCNC-TV that she was making a stand for students who couldn’t afford a hot meal. Students who are unable to afford the school lunch and don’t qualify for free or reduced lunches are given cheese with bread, which Curry said isn’t a sufficient meal.”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.

School officials would not say why Della Curry was fired, but said it had nothing to do with giving free lunches.

The school not only defended firing Curry, but also disputed her worries about kids going hungry. “We feed every child,” said district spokesperson Tustin Amole.

While the school defends firing Curry and says there are no hungry kids, Curry is standing by her story and said the district is just “trying to protect themselves.” She added, “all I can tell you is the truth.”
[Image via CBS]