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POCATELLO, Idaho — A southeastern Idaho cafeteria worker says she was fired for giving a student a free meal, but the school district offered her the job back after a national outcry.

Dalene Bowden received a termination letter from the Pocatello School District last week after she gave a tray of food to a 12-year-old student who said she didn't have money for the meal costing $1.70. The letter cited theft as the reason for her dismissal.

The district said in a statement Wednesday night that it doesn't fire workers for single events but offered Bowden her job back in the spirit of the holidays. It's not clear if she will return.

The district says it works with various programs to help children who are hungry, need medical care or who are homeless.

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Archived Comments

  • DontDrinkDatKoolAid
    December 26, 2015 at 5:51 p.m.

    N.C.N.C., I just asked a simple question, then you call me a dog for asking. What point are you trying to make?

  • cliffcarson
    December 26, 2015 at 8:39 p.m.

    My question is "How did the person doing the firing find out that the server gave a tray of food without the student paying for it?".
    It must have been the Cashier that gave the free tray. But there seems to be a lot missing from this rendition of the event. Did the Cashier reach into her own pocket and pay the $1.70?
    I don't believe that the Cafeteria personnel are sufficiently knowledgeable to prepare the exact amount of food to be dispensed daily. What happens to the daily excess food prepared? Is it tossed ? Why not prepare lunches from the leftovers and save the food that gets tossed for tomorrows lunches for those unable to pay? Some people donate to Cafeterias, Pharmacies, Clinics, etc. money to be used for those unable to pay - does this school?

  • DontDrinkDatKoolAid
    December 26, 2015 at 10:34 p.m.

    Government regulation on left overs ????

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