José Andrés praises Bonnie Kimball after the cafeteria worker’s firing

A cafeteria worker who was fired from her job after giving lunch to a child who couldn’t pay has earned the praise of celebrity chef José Andrés, who suggested she should come work for his company.

Bonnie Kimball gained media attention after being terminated on March 28 by a vendor for Mascoma Valley Regional High School in Canaan, New Hampshire. That came a day after she gave a student lunch, even though he was unable to pay.

Andrés tweeted about the story Friday, saying, “New Hampshire school cafeteria worker fired for giving food to student who couldn’t pay … The hero is Bonnie Kimball! If she needs a job we have openings at ⁦@thinkfoodgroup⁩ if you know her, let her know!”

Andrés is well-known for providing free meals to federal employees on furlough and survivors of natural disasters, CNN reports.

The school’s food supply vendor, Fresh Picks, acknowledged Friday that it had fired an employee that it did not name for violating school and company policy. It later offered to rehire the employee, pay her back pay and work to revise relevant policies, a spokeswoman said.

Kimball has said she will not return to her old job.

She recalled her conversation with the student when she realized his account didn’t have sufficient funds: “Tell (your) mom you need money,” she said and provided him with a lunch. She said she was familiar with the family and was confident the bill would be paid – it was the next morning, she said.

At the time of the interaction, a manager asked what she had given the boy and left, she said.

The incident has sparked a backlash in the school community, including a GoFundMe campaign in support of Kimball that had raised thousands of dollars.

Contributing: The Associated Press


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