Transcript for Lunch Lady Fired for Giving Free Lunches to Students in Need
index" and this morning's hot button, Colorado lunch lady fired after giving away free lunches to students who didn't have the money to pay for them. Jesse palmer has the story. That's right, George. The students didn't have upon to pay and Della curry said she didn't have the heart to take their lunch away. She admits she broke the rules but at the end of the day she thinks she did the right thing. Della curry says giving away school lumps free of charge cost her her job as kitchen manager with this Aurora, Colorado, elementary school and she says she'd do it again. Doing what is right is not always what is easy. And that's the way I was raised and it's the way I want my kids to be raised too. Reporter: Curry says she was motivated to break the rules by students who don't qualify for assistance and have overdrawn accounts. According to her, school policy dictated she take that child's full meal, entree, two vegetables and a fruit away and replace it with a cheese sandwich and carton of milk. I understand the regulations but she's helping kids. Her heart is out there. Reporter: School officials say curry was let go for violating policy and no child is allowed to go hungry regardless of payment. We give away free food to poor students every day. That's what the free and reduced lunch program is about. It's important to note a third of the students in the cherry creek school district qualify for a free or reduced priced lunch. All right, thank you. We asked what you thought. Should the lunch lady fired for giving out free meals get her job back. Here's what you had to say, 71% of you said yes. 29% said no and joining us now is Della curry. I think we know where we fell in that vote right there. You said you have no -- despite losing your job no regrets. Not a single one. You'd do it again. In a heartbeat. Yep, which is why I understand that I won't be getting my job back because until the policies change, I'd still be breaking policy. One of the strangest pars of the policy is that if you didn't give out the lunch, it would get thrown away. Yes. How many times a week would this happen? I would say on an average week I would have maybe one to two kids who had gotten to their debt limit. Obviously more towards the end of the month or, you know, when paychecks were running out. Things like that. But, yeah, I'd say at least one a week. When they say -- when you challenged them and said, you were going to throw this away, what was the answer. The answer is that there are federal regulations because our food is donated by the usda and part of the federal government reimbursement program so if you're not charged -- if you don't charge for the food it's considered theft. It's policy. It is policy. What should the new policy be in your opinion? The new policy in my opinion and in the opinion of people from here to I'm not kidding, Finland, China, what we think is China, I don't read Chinese so I couldn't understand it but the new policy I believe 100% that I'm going to work for is that school lunch is a part of public education. It is not separate. It is not a separate department like it is now. It should not be separately funded. There is no child whether they live in a Hollywood mansion or, you know, in a poverty-stricken ghetto, they all get lump as part of their -- So critical to learning. It is. I've been a chef for 0 years and my background is in nutrition and to see kids not learning because they're not eating. There shouldn't be a disparity in what they're learning or eating. Same across the board hot nutritious working on tasty. I only like the stater tots. That's true. That's true. Come on, the mystery meat. Della, I want to share we did hear from the school's director of communications saying that if they know a family was struggling that they would work with them, so instead of giving the kids the free lunch way not go to the school and let them know about that particular student. You know, what I want to say is I did work with the school extensive a wlen what a lot of people don't know, I worked for student nutrition services. I did not work -- I was not hired by the school itself. We were placed on -- contractors. Dakota valley is an amazing school. It is an awesome school. I miss those kids, I miss that staff. That's the only thing that made me cry not getting to say good-bye to the kids so I did work with them. I would call the counselors and talk to teachers, I would call parents, I admit I did not work as much with my department as maybe I should have because I felt like the school was the lead point. They knew these kids. They knew -- There's got to be a way to resolve this. Your heart is in the right place if what's the community's reaction been? I've spoken to a lot of parents of kids there and they, you know, are devastated that I left. I'm devastated that I left and there's been a lot of outrage that this happened and so, you know -- From around the world. From around the world. What do you do next? Two things. So obviously I need a new job and I was a proprietor of a candy company when I lived in Arizona and I decided to start that back up, be my own boss and take care of my family financially that way but I never expected it to be this big. Not in a million years and I can't stop now. You know, so what I want to do is from here on out once the media blitz kind of dies down is start talking to school boards and senators and get it changed. Taking action. Thanks for starting here. All the best to you. Thank you. Next up on "Heat index" a
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