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Lunch Lady Fired for Giving Free Lunch to Low-Income Student

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Arguably, next to recess, lunchtime is one part of the day that schoolchildren look forward to the most. It's a time to grab some grub and socialize with friends. Dianne Brame, the cafeteria manager at Hudson Elementary School in Webster Groves, Missouri, said she knows each one of her students by name. Brame took a special interest in one fourth grade boy. She noticed that he used to be on the free lunch program, but he had not been renewed to continue receiving free meals. Brame believed that was because his mother, who does not speak English, did not understand the paperwork for getting access to the meals.

So Brame stepped in and tried communicating with the family through the mail, but to no avail. Any kids who do not have current eligibility status are allowed to receive only three free regular meals. After that, the protocol is that these kids receive only a cheese sandwich and a carton of milk. Brame feared that the boy would be made fun of or bullied. So she gave him a free regular lunch for two months.

An employee reported Brame's actions to Chartwells, the food service company employed by the school that prepares the food served to the students. Chartwells then fired Brame. But the story does not end there.

When Chartwells found out the full details of the boy's story and why Brame took the actions that she did, they rehired her and said it was all just a misunderstanding. They released the following statement: "Chartwells appreciates the concern of this employee, and of all of our employees, who put the well being of school children first."

Brame told local TV station KSDK that she knew she had broken the rules, but she was trying to prevent the young man from being made fun of, and she would do it all over again, adding, "I don't think any kid should be hungry."

Hail to the lunch lady!

[Related: Teacher Fired for Refusing to Make Students Buy Pricey Textbooks]

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