(PCM) The Cherry Creek School District in Colorado is receiving quite a bit of backlash after the news broke about the recent termination of elementary school kitchen manager Della Curry, who was fired because she gave out free school lunches to students that could not afford to pay for them.
Curry claims that she had a young first grade student standing in front of her crying that she was hungry and didn’t have enough money to pay for lunch, so Curry did what just about any one of us would do, which is, of course, give the child some lunch.
The school uses a lunch account program called PayPAMS and the student had no funds left in her account. The student also did not qualify for the school districts free or reduced-price meal program. According to the application for the free or reduced-price meal program, a family of four must make less that $45,000 per year to qualify for reduced-price meals and less than $31,000 per year to qualify for the free meal program.
The Cherry Creek School District claims that they have a program in place to deal with a situation like the one that Curry faced where students are able to charge up to $8.00 at the elementary school level and $3.00 at the middle school level on their accounts. Anything beyond that charge level the students are only given a sandwich and milk until their meal account has been refilled.
Sources say that sandwich only consists of one piece of cheese on a hamburger bun and a small carton of milk. The school district claims that the cheese sandwich and milk is only given to students after they have forgotten their lunch money three times and the first two times they are given a hot lunch.
Curry feels very strongly that the cheese sandwich meal is certainly not enough, as well as not healthy and balanced in the least. She has even in the past paid for hot lunches for hungry students out of her own pocket. The students that she assisted unfortunately did not qualify for either of the school district’s meal plans.
She hopes that her recent termination from the elementary school will help bring some much needed changes to the school district’s meal policies and perhaps open their eyes to the much larger problem as a whole. Curry is gaining a ton of support via social media with parents rallying to her defense, as all she was truly trying to do was help out students in need.
Curry plans to address the school board along with several parents to urge them to make some changes to the policy. She also reveals that she would do it again in a heartbeat if it meant another student wouldn’t go hungry.
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