School Kitchen Manager Fired For Buying Lunch For Poor Kids

The Dakota Valley Elementary School in Aurora, Colorado, has fired kitchen manager Della Curry for the crime of sometimes buying lunch for kids who didn’t have enough money to eat. Which has to be just about the most Les Misérables thing I have heard so far this week.

Via CBS Denver:

“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 the district, students who fail to qualify for the free lunch or reduced lunch program receive one slice of cheese on a hamburger bun, and a small milk.

Curry says that meal is not sufficient. Many times she paid for lunches out of her own pocket.

“I’ll own that I broke the law. The law needs to change,” she said.

To qualify for the free lunch program, a family of four would have to have a household income of around $31,000. To qualify for a reduced lunch, the threshold is below $45,000.

Curry says the students she helped did not qualify for either program.

“Kids whose parents make too much money to qualify, but a lot of times they don’t have enough money to eat,” she said.

If this is a thing that happens with some regularity, wouldn’t it make sense to have some kind of petty cash fund to buy lunch for kids who don’t have lunch money that day? Is that crazy? It certainly doesn’t seem like something to fire someone over. You would have to be a raging sociopath to be able to look at a hungry six year-old and tell them they can’t have lunch because they don’t have the money that day. Either that or the proprietor of a Dickensian workhouse.

This woman is literally being punished for not being a terrible person. Roll that around in your head for a minute. Maybe I’m a crazy socialist–but I just don’t think there is any situation where it is morally acceptable to let a child go hungry.

I mean, honestly, can you believe this country? Can you believe it? We have all this money for wars and drones and spying and penis pumps for old dudes and tax breaks for rich people and yet we can’t quite seem to figure out how to get some cheap ass school lunch to some first graders? Somehow that keeps being a problem. Shouldn’t that be the first thing we take care of?

We live in a country where a certain segment of the population is paying more for preschool than for Harvard–and yet, a school kitchen manager, who probably doesn’t make all that much money herself, is getting fired for using her own money to buy lunch for hungry six year-olds. This is all ass-backwards. Everything is wrong.

I hope someone offers Della Curry a fabulous new job–perhaps advocating for the kids she was trying to help–because that is one bad ass woman with her head on straight. We could use more of her. [CBS Denver]