They say no good deed goes unpunished and unfortunately for one cafeteria worker these words rang very true. After giving free food to a hungry student, Bonnie Kimball was fired from her job, but luckily her story caught the attention of a celebrity chef who was determined to reward her kindness.
Back in March, cafeteria worker Bonnie Kimball was fired from her job for serving free food to a student.
Kimball’s employer, Fresh Picks, supplied the food to Mascoma Valley High School in Manchester, New Hampshire.
According to CBS Boston, when Kimball learned that one student had zero funds in his account, she reminded him to tell his mom he needed lunch money but gave him the meal free anyway.
“His family is very well known in this town and I can guarantee that if I called his mother, she would have come right in and paid the bill. But I didn’t want to get her out of work. I know they would have brought the money the next day. The bill was going to get paid,” Kimball explained to The Associated Press.
A district manager said Kimball’s actions violated school and company policy which led to her termination.
Since then, Fresh Picks alleged that they offered to rehire Kimball and “work with the school district to revise policies and procedures regarding transactions.”
Kimball says she hasn’t heard of any such job offer from the company and has expressed no desire to return.
The Mascoma Valley Superintendent Amanda Isabelle released a statement acknowledging the termination.
“First and foremost, it is our goal to do right by our families, community, students, and employees at the Mascoma Valley Regional School District. The events of these past few weeks and the feedback I have received from parents has given me considerable pause,” Isabelle said.
“As a school district, we understand the importance of rules and procedures, but upon reflection, I have become sufficiently convinced that it is wrong of us to assume that all the responsibility falls to the vendor, and I do not believe our communities would accept that explanation of this situation. We must be accountable for the people who work in our schools.”
The school district said any student who could not afford lunch would be given meals with milk, fruits, and vegetables.
Of course, it wasn’t long before the cafeteria worker’s story went viral and even caught the attention of celebrity chef José Andrés.
World-renowned chef José Andrés was named one of the Top 100 most influential people in the world by TIME. He has helped provide millions of free meals to furloughed federal workers and natural disaster survivors.
Andrés took to Twitter to voice his support for Kimball and offer her a job at his nonprofit World Central Kitchen.
New Hampshire school cafeteria worker fired for giving food to student who couldn't pay – WHBQ! The hero is Bonnie Kimball! If she needs a job we have openings at ?@thinkfoodgroup? if you know her, let her know! ?@NewHampJournal? https://t.co/o7JHXgRtn6
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) May 17, 2019
“The hero is Bonnie Kimball! If she needs a new job we have openings @thinkfoodgroup,” Andrés wrote.