AURORA, Colo. — An act of kindness is causing outrage in the Cherry Creek School District. An employee is out of a job after giving out free lunches to certain students.
In an interview with CNN Wednesday, Della Curry, the kitchen manager at Dakota Valley Elementary School in Aurora, said she lost her job because she was giving food to kids who didn’t have lunch money.
The Cherry Creek School District released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying that Curry has been providing inaccurate information about why she lost her job. The statement read in part:
“Ms. Curry was not dismissed for giving free food to financially disadvantaged students. Numerous documented incidents resulted in the action taken by the Cherry Creek School District. Currently, we are unable to fully disclose all of the details concerning her dismissal without her permission, which she presently has declined to give. Should she change her mind, we will release all of the information associated with this investigation.”
No child will be left to go hungry at the school because there’s no money in their account, but the school district said there is right way and a wrong way to make sure that never happens.
The families of the children who received the free lunches made too much money to qualify for the free and reduced lunch program.
The district said the law does not require it to provide a meal to children who don’t have lunch money but instead give them hot meals the first three times they don’t have lunch money and charge their parents’ accounts. The fourth time, the students get a turkey, chicken or cheese sandwich and some milk.
“As a student’s account becomes negative, parents receive a daily automated call until the account is brought whole,” a district spokeswoman said. “We are always willing to work with families to find a solution if there is an inability to pay.”