Lunch lady who says free meal led to firing offered job back

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — A southeastern Idaho cafeteria worker says she was fired for giving a student a free meal, but the school district offered her the job back after a national outcry.

Dalene Bowden received a termination letter from the Pocatello School District last week after she gave a tray of food to a 12-year-old student who said she didn't have money for the meal costing $1.70. The letter cited theft as the reason for her dismissal.

The district said in a statement Wednesday night that it doesn't fire workers for single events but offered Bowden her job back in the spirit of the holidays. It's not clear if she will return.

The district says it works with various programs to help children who are hungry, need medical care or who are homeless.


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