Rehire Lunch Lady Fired for Giving Meal to Hungry Child

Target: Irving Middle School Principal Tonya Wilkes

Goal: Rehire a school cafeteria worker who was fired for giving a free meal to a child who couldn’t afford it.

A cafeteria worker was unceremoniously fired for giving a 12-year-old child a hot meal when she didn’t have any money for food. The employee, Dalene Bowden, had intended to pay for the meal herself, but her supervisor witnessed the incident and reported her. She was immediately put on leave for theft, then sent a termination letter soon after.

There are millions of children in the U.S. who go hungry on a regular basis because of widespread poverty and the fact that nutrition assistance programs aren’t adequately funded. Kids go into the cafeteria at school every day having to watch everyone else eat while they’re denied a decent meal. Then they’re unable to focus properly focus on schoolwork due to the hunger. Anyone who takes pity on one of these kids and reaches into their own pockets to provide them with something so basic as food should be rewarded, not fired.

The fact that this school even has a policy that would result in this woman being fired for giving food to a hungry child is a disgrace. Ms. Bowden is a fantastic employee with a big heart who had never even been written up in her three years working for the school. Sign our petition to demand that she be reinstated to her position and that the school changes its policies so that no one is fired for this ever again.


Dear Ms. Wilkes,

I understand that one of the cafeteria workers at Irving Middle School was recently fired because she provided a hot school meal to a 12-year-old student who couldn’t afford to pay for a lunch. Apparently, the policy at your school is to take away the income of any employee who attempts to feed a hungry child so that they can actually focus in class rather than being distracted by hunger pains.

It’s completely unacceptable that Dalene Bowden was fired for this. She had not even been written up a single time in all of her years working for you, yet she doesn’t even get a warning before being fired for breaking a rule that shouldn’t exist in the first place? Ms. Bowden was fully intending to pay for the meal herself, but despite this, she was fired for her charitable spirit.

Not only does Ms. Bowden need to be immediately reinstated at full pay, your school needs to do away with this ridiculous policy of denying hungry children a meal when their parents can’t afford to provide one. This policy is not only causing children and hardworking adults to suffer, it’s denying your students the basic needs necessary in order to perform well in their studies. Please right this wrong as soon as possible.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture

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