Elementary School Cafeteria Worker Fired for Giving Hungry Students Free Lunch

Jonathan Schoenfeld
June 3, 2015

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(ANTIMEDIA) Della curry, mother of two, is out of a job since she decided doing what’s right is more important than following the orders. Curry was fired for giving out lunch to students who would have otherwise gone hungry at Dakota Valley Elementary School in Aurora, Colorado. Curry recalls her experience, saying:

“I had a first grader in front of me, crying, because she doesn’t have enough money for lunch. Yes, I gave her lunch,”

Some may argue that the only thing curry is guilty of is having compassion for a child in need. How did Curry get herself into this situation in the first place?

The rules to approve students for the free lunch and reduced-price lunch programs are explicit. In order to qualify for free lunch a family of four would need to make an annual income of $31,000 or less. To qualify for the reduced lunch the ceiling is $45,000.

Curry said that the students she helped were unable to qualify for either program.

Curry stated that, “Kids whose parents make too much money to qualify, but a lot of times they don’t have enough money to eat”

Students that don’t qualify for the assisted lunch program receive a lunch that consists of one slice of cheese on a hamburger bun and a small milk. Curry argues that the “meal” is unsatisfactory and often times she pays for lunches out of her own pocket.

Parents are outraged by the firing of Della Curry because of her good nature, and suggest that the problem isn’t with Curry but with the system that approves students for the free and reduced lunch program. 

Concerned parent, Darnell Hill, says Curry helped his son out when he forgot his lunch money. When asked about his feelings on the matter Mr. Hill responded by saying, “Do something different than fire her. She’s trying to help.”

While unable to make any further comments on personal issues, the Cherry Creek School District did have this to say,

“anyone who has ever been terminated has violated some kind of written policy.”

Curry doesn’t deny breaking the rules, but hopes by doing so, reforms will be made to include students that don’t fall into the bracket requirements that qualify them for food assistance.

Curry says that, “If me getting fired for it is one way that we can try to change this, I’ll take it in a heartbeat”

She says she is looking forward to addressing the school board with hopes of making revisions to the lunch policy.

Do you think Della Curry did the right thing?


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