Cafeteria worker fired over hungry student’s free meal, offered job back

(NBC) – A school cafeteria worker in Idaho who was allegedly fired for giving a hungry student a free lunch has been offered her job back, NBC News reported.

Dalene Bowden, a server at Irving Middle School in Pocatello, Idaho, told NBC affiliate KPVI she gave a 12-year-old girl with no money a free lunch. She said she offered to pay for the cost of the $1.70 meal, but said she was put on leave by her supervisor.

Her firing sparked outrage on social media, with a petition garnering almost 74,000 signatures calling for her reinstatement.

The Pocatello/Chubbuck School District declined to address specifics, but said in a statement that it allowed her a chance to return to work “in the spirit of the holidays.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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