Family speaks out after lunch lady fired for giving student free meal

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POCATELLO, Idaho — The family of an Idaho seventh grader is criticizing her daughter’s school for firing the lunch lady who gave the girl a free meal.

Dalene Bowden said the girl was hungry but her lunch card was rejected, so she gave the girl lunch anyway. The school fired Bowden for theft.

Now, the girl’s mother says her daughter actually had enough money in her account. The the school’s records were wrong.

A re-check of the girl’s account confirmed that she had the money, and the account was properly charged.

But so far, the school hasn’t offered the lunch lady her job back.

“I don’t understand how they can look at a hungry child and tell them, ‘you can’t eat today,'” the student’s mother told KPVI, who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity. “Something needs to be changed.”

The meal cost $1.70.