A lunch lady in Idaho is jobless after she gave a free lunch to a hungry student.
The Idaho State Journal reported that "Dalene Bowden, a food service worker at Irving Middle School, was placed on leave after she gave a free hot lunch to a 12-year-old girl who said she was hungry and didn’t have any money."
It seems that Bowden is now fired, the same newspaper announced. In short, there is a protocol for handling needy or hungry students, and Bowden didn't follow it, according to school district officials.
The incident occurred on Dec. 15 there in Pocatello, Idaho.
When the student told Bowden she didn't have any money to buy food, Bowden told BuzzFeed News, "I just handed her the meal and said we'd talk about it, but she should move on because I had 150 other kids to serve."
After she received her termination notice from the local school district, Bowden started a GoFundMe. As of Thursday evening, she received over $12,000 for her cause: "to raise enough funds to get lawyer to change the law." An online petition supporting Bowden quickly garnered over 40,000 signatories.
On her GoFundMe page, Bowden wrote, "I admits [sic] I broke the rules, but I'm not apologizing and I would do exactly the same thing again regardless of the consequences."
Local government there in Pocatello quickly distanced itself from the actions of the school district.
Earlier in the day Wednesday, the city posted on Facebook, "We'd like to remind everyone that the situation involving Dalene Bowden was handled by officials with Pocatello/Chubbuck School District #25 and no City elected officials or employees were involved in the decision making process."
Still, by Wednesday night, the situation seemed more hopeful.
The city posted on Facebook, "Mayor Blad met with Superintendent Howell this afternoon. The Superintendent assured the Mayor that the School District is working toward a solution."