School Kitchen Manager Reportedly Got Fired for Giving Students Free Lunch

July 24, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. violate / ˈvaɪ əˌleɪt / (v.) – to do something that is against a rule or law
Example: The student violated the school’s dress code.

2. dismiss / dɪsˈmɪs / (v.) – to put an end to one’s employment
Example: The school administrator dismissed the janitor after he was caught stealing.

3. nourishment / ˈnɜr ɪʃ mənt / (n.) – something that keeps a person healthy
Example: The food in the school cafeteria does not provide enough nourishment for the students.

4. humiliate / hyuˈmɪl iˌeɪt  / (v.) – to cause someone to feel embarrassed
Example: The gossip humiliated Sam.

5. disclose / dɪˈskloʊz / (v.) – to reveal something publicly
Example: The school cannot disclose the student’s information without permission.


Read the text below.
The Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) in Colorado fired a school kitchen manager in May for violating its district rules.

Della Curry [KUR-ee], 35 years old, was the former kitchen manager of Dakota Valley Elementary School in Aurora, Colorado. According to Curry, she was dismissed for giving free food to students with no money. Curry was aware that this was prohibited but maintains that she has no regrets doing it.

The school district has a program that provides free and discounted meals for students from poor families. However, the school is not required to offer free meals to students who forgot their lunch money. Nonetheless, the school still provides meals for these students for up to three times. If students forget their money for the fourth time, they will receive milk and a cheese sandwich. The school then charges the meals to the students’ parents.

Despite this program, Curry explained that the free food provided for these students is not enough. She added that these meals do not provide enough nourishment. Curry also stressed how this policy could humiliate students when their peers notice their different food or smaller portions. Because of these circumstances, Curry decided to give free food to students even without permission from the school.

In a statement, the school district’s spokesperson, Tustin Amole [TUHS-tin uh-MOH-ley], said that Curry was not dismissed just because she gave free food to students. Instead, the school decided to fire Curry because of a number of documented incidents. However, the school cannot disclose the whole story unless Curry gives her permission.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you were Della Curry, would you also give free food to students with no money? Why or why not?
·         What are your thoughts about the school’s food program for poor students?

Discussion B

·         If you could create a program or initiative for poor students, what would it be and why?
·         What are the existing programs in your country that help poor students?

July 24, 2015