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Woman serving food to schoolchildren (10-13) in cafeteria

Source: Baerbel Schmidt / Getty

We’re definitely failing as a society when someone is fired for giving crying, hungry kids a free, hot lunch. This is what happened to a kitchen manager at an elementary school in Colorado.

According to the Denver Post, 35-year-old Ella Curry was fired after giving children free lunch or paying for their lunch out of her own pocket. The children involved did not qualify for free or reduced lunch. Curry said that she probably gave 20 free lunches over a year.

“I had a first grader in front of me, crying, because she doesn’t have enough money for lunch. Yes, I gave her lunch,” Curry said.

Curry has a 4 and 7 year-old and said she would repeat her offense. “I knew the whole time (giving away free food) was a firing offense,” Curry told the Denver Post. “Somebody told my supervisors what I had done, and it is immediate termination. I will take that if we can change the rules.”

The district wouldn’t comment on why it fired Curry, but it release a statement saying “the law does not require the school district to provide a meal to children who have forgotten their lunch money.”