- Bonnie Kimball was fired from her position at Mascoma Valley Regional High School in Canaan, New Hampshire, by Cafe Services in March.
- The company said she violated its policies and the school’s policies when she did not charge a student for lunch when he didn’t have the money to pay for it.
- Cafe Services’ school-dining division, Fresh Picks Café, announced on Friday that it had offered to rehire Kimball.
- Kimball said that she wouldn’t return and that she believes she’s being offered the job back for publicity.
- On Monday, Fresh Picks Café President Brian Stone called Kimball “dishonest.”
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A cafeteria worker who was fired from her position in a New Hampshire high-school lunchroom for not charging student for his lunch said she wouldn’t return to her post after being offered her job back.
Bonnie Kimball was fired from Mascoma Valley Regional High School in Canaan by Café Services in March after letting the student take a la carte food items when he couldn’t pay. She said the boy paid the $8 the following day.
Café Services’ school-dining division, Fresh Picks Café, announced on Friday that it had offered to rehire Kimball, two months after saying she violated its policies and the school’s policies by giving the student free food.
In a statement to INSIDER, the president of Fresh Picks Café, Brian Stone, said that the company would provide Kimball back pay if she rejoined the team and that it would work on its policies regarding students who can’t pay for food.
Kimball told a local ABC affiliate, WMUR, however, that she wouldn’t return and that she believes she’s being offered her job back for publicity.
“They’re only offering my job back to get the press off their backs,” she said. “They don’t want me back because they want me. I’m not bailing them out. No.”
After Kimball’s most recent comment, Stone said in a statement to INSIDER that the former employee was “dishonest,” and said again that she had been terminated for not following company procedures.
The statement claimed that the student involved in the incident had walked up to Kimball’s cash register with a full lunch composed of an entree, side, fruit and milk – which every student receives regardless of if they can pay – as well as two packs of cookies, a Powerade, and a side of fries.
“In this situation the student was not charged for any part of the meal, the main lunch or four additional items. The employee told the manager that she charged the student’s account for the lunch, but the manager later confirmed there were no charges on the account, so what the employee said was not true,” Stone said. “Every student in the lunch line gets a lunch, so there was no reason for her to not charge the account.”
It remains unclear if the company is still offering her a job. When INSIDER asked Fresh Picks Cafe, a spokeswoman said they hadn’t had a discussion about it since Kimball said she would not return to the job.
“The employee has stated in more than one media story that she would not rejoin the company,” the spokeswoman said.
In a statement provided to INSIDER, the Mascoma Valley Regional School District superintendent, Amanda Isabelle, said the district would work with Café Services to review food policies.
“I believe we have all learned something through this process,” Isabelle said.
The district renewed its contract with Cafe Services last week.
“Our contract with Café Services was renewed only after a review of its ability to deliver comprehensive, whole and nutritious meal plans for our students including free lunch for those who need assistance,” Isabelle said.
Her statement said the district provided several programs, including a food bank, to support families struggling with food insecurity.
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