Lunch lady who gave free meal to hungry child fired for ‘theft’

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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.


  • Sharon Petner

    That is DISGRACEFUL that she was fired for having a card heart and compassion to a hungry child. Children are dependent on their parents, caretakers, adults to feed them, and this woman saw that this need was not being met so she should be applauded, not fired! I am sure that EVERY DAY they throw away left over food which does not get sold – so what harm did it do. What harm would one meal to one HUNGRY CHILD do? It is pathetic that someone had the never to fire her for feeding a hungry human being from a surplus of food. There but for the grace of God goes every one of us, INCLUDING the person who fired her. Every good thing in life comes to us from God – who gives freely – so who are we to deny a hungry fellow human being, most especially a child. People should be punished for doing wrong, not for doing right. She did not take anything for herself, she helped another who was in need with what was plentiful and available. This is why the world is getting worse, not better, because people are punished for doing good deeds and showing compassion, empathy, and love.

  • Joe

    To here a heartless subject of someone not only doing there job but going the above and Beyond there job duties for feeding our children to turn around and be fired for it is disgusting , quote me if I’m wrong but isn’t one of the things as tax payers we pay for they should be a shamed of there Selves give the women here job back and the school Union should take a good look in the mirror and this should be brought before Congress!!

  • Joe

    for anyone who reads this post from me please take s moment and say a prayer for all people who are in need and if you think you have it hard we don’t as long as you have shelter and food for you and your family that’s a true blessing so don’t take things for granted. My God bless all have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year God blesse

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