One day, a New Hampshire high school student didn’t have enough money to pay for all of the items on his tray, so lunchroom employee Bonnie Kimball let him pass and told him to be sure to pay the following day, according to CNN.
Because Kimball had known the boy’s parents for several years, she knew that the $8 lunch bill would be paid off, and that’s exactly what happened the next morning, she told the news outlet.
But a week later, the district manager of Café Services fired her.
"'Do you understand what you did was wrong? That was theft,'" she said she was told.
A photo of the letter she received upon her termination stated that she violated school and federal procedures.
"On March 28, a District Manager was on-site and witnessed a student coming through the line with multiple food items that you did not charge him for. This in strict violation of our Cash Handling Procedures, the Schools Charge Policy and Federal Regulation governing free meals," the letter reads. "Your final has been processed and disbursed to you."
According to Café Services human resources director Jaime Matheson, the student would have received a meal even if he did not pay.
"The student in question did receive a lunch. Students who come up to the lunch line without money receive a lunch of an entrée or sandwich plus side dishes or fresh fruit and milk. An employee of the company would not be let go because they provide this lunch to a student," Matheson said in a statement.
"We can't get into specifics because personnel decisions are confidential to honor privacy, however employees receive and sign their acknowledgment to company policies. When these aren't followed, corrective action is put in place, up to and including termination. We're all proud of our ability to provide meals to those in need," he continued.
Kimball was an employee of the Mascoma Valley Regional High School cafeteria for nearly five years.