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School lunch worker: I got fired for feeding a hungry child

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Della Curry, a cafeteria worker in an elementary school in a Denver suburb, has been fired for giving free food to students who didn't qualify for the federal free lunch program.

The mother of two admitted to KCNC-TV, which first reported the story, that she violated school policy by giving the free meals but said that she didn't want to see the children go hungry. She's hoping her case will change district policy.

"I had a first grader in front of me, crying, because she doesn't have enough money for lunch. Yes, I gave her lunch," Curry told the station. "I'll own that I broke the law. The law needs to be changed."

Curry (pictured above) said that many students' families can't afford to send them lunch even if they don't qualify for the free or reduced cost lunch program. She said sometimes students simply forget their lunch money and noted that on occasion she even went into her own pocket to pay for lunches.

Cherry Creek School District, where she had been employed, refused to comment to the station about her case, saying it was a personnel matter.

But after the report aired, the district posted a statement on the district web site about the policy without mentioning her by name. It said that students are given free lunches the first three times they forget their lunch money and after that they are given a cheese or if available turkey sandwich, along with a milk.

"No child is ever allowed to go without lunch," said the district's statement.


“Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” – Coretta Scott King

"Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge." -Toni Morrison

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


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I knew the whole time it was a firing offense," she said. "Somebody told my supervisors what I had done, and it is immediate termination.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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