Bonnie Kimball Bio
Bonnie Kimball is the lunchroom employee who was fired after she gave away an $8 lunch to a student who couldn’t pay. Kimball says she was just doing what she had been told to when she let a high school student take his lunch tray without paying. But the next day, Kimball was fired and accused of theft.
Her firing came a day after she gave a student lunch, even though he couldn’t pay for it, the Valley News reported.
When a student at a New Hampshire high school put items on his tray that he didn’t have the money for, lunchroom employee Bonnie Kimball didn’t think it was a big deal. https://t.co/KRHFw8U5rb
— KFOR (@kfor) May 17, 2019
‘I’m just dealing with so much right now: the public, paperwork. One minute I’m mad and the next minute, I just want to forget it all happened,’ she said. ‘I guess I’m mourning my job.’
Cafe Services, the food provider Kimball was employed by, said the company couldn’t discuss why an employee was terminated, but that an employee ‘would not be let go because they provided this lunch to a student.’
However, a letter from the company provided by Kimball seems to suggest she was fired for giving the student items without collecting payment.
The School District Policy Says Students Should Be Fed Lunch Even If They Can’t Pay
Cookie Hebert, the chairman of Mascoma Valley Regional School Board, said that the school district has a clear policy when it comes to lunch. Students should not be allowed to go hungry, even if they have no money to pay. “The policy is that the student be fed,” Hebert told the New Hampshire Union Leader. “There’s no refusal.”
Then the students should stand up and protest the termination of Bonnie Kimball. https://t.co/wOewUSQyhD
— Rik Basterd (@Rik_Basterd) May 17, 2019
But Hebert also said that students who can’t pay for lunch should just be given the lunch of the day. She said they shouldn’t be allowed to take “a la carte” items. In the case that led to Bonnie Kimball being fired, she allowed a student to take $8 worth of food, including a la carte items.
Bonnie Kimball said she was just doing what she’d been told to when she let the student take food without paying. She said that she quietly took the student aside and told him that his mother would have to add money to his account later. The next day, the student came in and paid his bill. But later that day, Kimball was fired for letting him take the lunch.
Kimball Worked at the School for Over 4 Years & Says She Knew All the Students
Bonnie Kimball was an employee of Cafe Services, the company which has the food services contract for Mascoma Valley Regional High School. Kimball spent four and a half years working in the school’s lunchroom. She said she knew all the students in the small school and was familiar with their circumstances.
— Michael Anderson (@BVgourmet) May 17, 2019
Kimball also says that her supervisor had ordered her not to refuse lunch to any student who couldn’t pay. “We weren’t supposed to pull trays,” she said. On March 28, a student brought a tray containing $8 in a la carte items up to the counter, but there wasn’t enough money in his account to pay for the lunch. Kimball took him aside and told him that his mother needed to add more money to the account later. She allowed him to take the lunch. The next day, he came in and paid his bill. Later that day, Kimball’s managers fired her.
Kimball Set Up a GoFundMe Page to Help Cover Her Costs After Being Fired
Kimball’s situation got a lot of attention after the media wrote about her story. People shared the articles about Kimball on Facebook, and her story started to go viral. Many of Kimball’s supporters contacted her on Facebook and asked her to set up a GoFundMe page so that they could chip in and show their support for her, she says.
Do I really live in an America where a cafeteria worker is fired for theft, for helping a hungry child with an $8 lunch? Shame on #CafeServices Stand with #BonnieKimball #NewCanaanNH Stand Up #SuperintendentIsabelle https://t.co/YPspbDOqgJ
— EbonyGemMusic (@Ebony_ctgem) May 17, 2019
Kimball set up a page asking for $1000 to help her get by after being fired by Cafe Services. 10 hours after she launched the GoFundMe page, she had already reached nearly half of her goal, and the page was trending. Supporters gave small donations and wrote messages to express their outrage about Kimball being fired.
Fast Facts You Need to Know
- Bonnie Kimball said she was fired from her cafeteria job at Mascoma Valley Regional High School in New Hampshire after feeding a student without money
- Kimball said she was fired the next day and is now ‘mourning her job’ in Canaan
- Fresh Picks Cafe, the food provider Kimball was employed by through Cafe Services, said the company couldn’t discuss why an employee was terminated
- The company added that an employee ‘would not be let go because they provided this lunch to a student’
- A letter dated April 9 from the company, however, seems to describe the reasoning for her firing as providing unpaid items to a student during lunch
- Kimball said she doesn’t blame the school, as she worked for Cafe Services