Dianne Brame, School Cafeteria Worker Fired For Giving Needy Student Free Meals, Reinstated

Source: The Huffington Post

A school cafeteria worker in Missouri who says she was fired for feeding a needy student is being reinstated following widespread outcry over the incident.

Diane Brame has been the cafeteria manager at Hudson Elementary School in Webster Groves, Mo., for two years. Recently, she noticed one fourth-grader would regularly walk through the lunch line without money for his food. The boy, who was once in the school’s federally subsidized free-lunch program, had let his participation expire. Language barriers thwarted reapplication.

So Brame let the student “charge” his lunches, allowing the bill to accrue to $45, well over the school’s $10 lunch debt limit, she told WQAD. Brame says she also gave the boy free hot meals to shield him from peer harassment.

As schools nationwide grapple with the growing lunch debt of students and parents who have ignored lunch bills, many have adopted programs that give students an “alternative” lunch until the bill is paid. That alternative often means basic peanut butter sandwiches with fruit, vegetables and milk — a lesser and less costly version of a regular meal with meat, and one that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will reimburse as part of the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program.

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