School Kitchen Manager Backs Up Claim She Was Fired For Giving Food To Hungry Students

| by Michael Allen

Della Curry was terminated last month from her job as a kitchen manager at the Dakota Valley Elementary School in Aurora, Colorado.

After she was fired by the Cherry Creek School District, Curry said it was because she gave some food to some hungry students who didn’t have any money to pay for lunches.

In the school district, some students who can't afford to buy a lunch do get a very small free lunch, but Curry told CBS Denver at the time that the kids whom she fed didn't qualify financially.

The Cherry Creek School District said at the time that they could not issue any statements on personnel situations, but did say in a statement:

The law does not require the school district to provide the meal to children who have forgotten their lunch money, that is a district decision. According to our practice, we provide hot meals to students the first three times they forget their lunch money and charge their parents’ accounts. The fourth time, we provide a cheese sandwich and milk.

Curry recently gave CBS Denver copies of her personnel file and termination notice, which do confirm her claims that she was fired (in part) for giving the kids food, which the school district denied.

Her personnel file reportedly says she was terminated for “giving away food at no charge” and violating USDA policy on distributing food.

Curry stated:

I stand by all of my statements. I let you see this because I’m not in this for publicity, I’m not in this for attention. And I’ve got nothing to hide.

The Cherry Creek School District, which previously claimed it could not comment on personnel matters, was suddenly willing to speak about Curry violating USDA policy.

Tustin Amole, of the Cherry Creek School District, told CBS Denver: "Violation of those regulations puts our funding at risk for all of our kids. It’s not a decision she can make on her own."

Amole didn't cite the exact USDA regulations that were allegedly violated.

Curry's file also mentioned cash register checkout issues and using a cell phone as part of the termination.

The school district claims there were other issues, but wouldn't reveal what they were.

Curry says she is unemployed and unashamed. She plans to speak to the school board on August 10.

Sources: CBS Denver 1, CBS Denver 2
Image Credit: CBS Denver Screenshot