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Company Offers To Rehire Worker Who Lost Job Over Free Lunch

CANAAN, N.H. (AP/CBS) — A company has offered to rehire a school cafeteria worker whom it fired for giving a student lunch for free.

Bonnie Kimball said she was fired March 28 by Fresh Picks, a vendor that supplies food to the Mascoma Valley Regional High School in Canaan. She told the student quietly, "Tell (your) mom you need money."

A spokeswoman for the Manchester-based company said Friday that an employee it did not name violated school and company policy and that a district manager had terminated the person. But the company said it had offered to rehire the employee, provide her back pay and would "work with the school district to revise policies and procedures regarding transactions."

However Kimball said she hasn't heard of any job offer. "I did not get my job back, not do I want it," she said to WBZ.

Mascoma Valley Superintendent Amada Isabelle also released a statement acknowledging the action.

"First and foremost, it is our goal to do right by our families, community, students and employees at the Mascoma Valley Regional School District. The events of these past few weeks and the feedback I have received from parents has given me considerable pause," Isabelle said. "As a school district, we understand the importance of rules and procedures, but upon reflection, I have become sufficiently convinced that it is wrong of us to assume that all the responsibility falls to the vendor, and I do not believe our communities would accept that explanation of this situation. We must be accountable for the people who work in our schools."

In a prepared statement, the school district said any student that could not afford a lunch would be with meals, milk, fruits and vegetables.

"There are, however, items such as ice cream bars, sports drinks and chips that are not provided for free," the district said in a statement.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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