Chef José Andrés is known for his humanitarian efforts, now he appears to want to help a lunch lady who recently found herself fired.
Bonnie Kimball worked at Mascoma Valley Regional High School. She allowed a student to take $8 worth of food, despite not having money in his school lunch account.
“I quietly said, ‘Tell (your) mom you need money,” Kimball told the Valley News.
The district manager watched the March 28 incident and Kimball was fired the next day.
The company she worked for, Cafe Services, which contracted with the school to run the cafeteria, sent Kimball a letter outlining why she was fired.
“On March 28, a District manager was on-site and witnessed a student coming through the line with multiple food items that you did not charge him for,” the letter read according to the Valley News. “This is a strict violation of our Cash Handling Procedures, the Schools Charge Policy and Federal Regulation governing free meals.”
News of the woman’s firing made its way to Andrés, who is known not only for his restaurants but also for his humanitarian outreach.
Andrés has fed families hit hard by flooding in Nebraska, as well as those in Texas, Florida and North Carolina after hurricanes decimated regions there. His teams have also fed people in Guatemala and Hawaii after volcanoes and refugees stranded in Tijuana. He also helped feed federal workers during the weekslong government shutdown, Fortune magazine reported.
After Haiti was damaged by an earthquake in 2010, Andrés started the nonprofit World Central Kitchen to help those in need.
New Hampshire school cafeteria worker fired for giving food to student who couldn't pay - WHBQ! The hero is Bonnie Kimball! If she needs a job we have openings at @thinkfoodgroup if you know her, let her know! @NewHampJournal https://t.co/o7JHXgRtn6— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) May 17, 2019
Andrés’ followers posted praise for the chef online.
You did it, again!! You come up with solutions where people are willing to live in the problem. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you ❤️— (((Andrea Neuman))) (@dee4077) May 17, 2019
I hope that everyone that RTs this can help find her. I commend her! No child should go to school and be hungry!— Annette (@dolfin513) May 17, 2019
Blessings to you, to Ms Kimball, and to her co-workers who resigned in protest at her firing. Every day, I am grateful for the work you and the @WCKitchen team do; every day, I'm glad to be a donor, and to help change the world - one plate of food at a time!— Callanite 🇬🇧🇺🇲🇨🇦 (@Callanite) May 17, 2019