Lunch lady fired over hungry student’s free meal offered job back

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Dalene Bowden

POCATELLO, Idaho — A lunch lady, who was allegedly fired for giving a hungry student a free lunch, was offered her job back, according to NBC News.

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 then rallied behind Bowden.

Since she was fired, an online petition calling for her to be reinstated has garnered more than 80,000 signatures.

According to NBC News, the school district declined to address the specifics of Bowden’s case but did release a statement.

The statement obtained by NBC NEWS said the school district, “does not and has not ever taken negative employment action against any food service worker due to a singular event of this nature.”

In addition, the statement said, “in the spirit of the holidays…the district has been in communication with Ms. Bowden, extending an opportunity for her to return to employment.”