Lunch lady who says giving free meal to child led to firing offered job back
POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — A southeastern Idaho cafeteria worker says she was fired for giving a student a free meal, but the school district offered her the job back after a national outcry.
Dalene Bowden received a termination letter from the Pocatello School District last week after she gave a tray of food to a 12-year-old student who said she didn't have money for the meal costing $1.70. The letter cited theft as the reason for her dismissal.
The district said in a statement Wednesday night that it doesn't fire workers for single events but offered Bowden her job back in the spirit of the holidays. It's not clear if she will return.
The district says it works with various programs to help children who are hungry, need medical care or who are homeless.
Text and video below from earlier story:
POCATELLO, Idaho -- A school lunch lady in Idaho claims she was fired from her job last week after she gave a hungry student a free meal.
Dalene Bowden told KPVI that a 12-year-old girl came up to her and said she didn't have any money for lunch.
"My heart hurts," Bowden told KPVI. "I truly loved my job, and I can't say that I wouldn't do it again."
Bowden said her supervisor saw her give the little girl food last Tuesday and reported the incident.
"He said I was on permanent leave until he called me. I should not call them. He will call me. And they never called me. I got the letter," she explained.
The letter said that Bowden was terminated for "theft."
Social media has since rallied behind Bowden. Since she was fired, Bowden has hired an attorney and started an online petition to help get her job back.
The school district did not respond to KPVI's request for comment.