School Defends Firing: Hungry Kids Is Not The Reason Della Curry Got Fired, Officials Claim

June 6, 2015 | By Garrett Montgomery More

School defends firing an employee, who fed hungry kids, and the story goes viral. Officials from the Dakota Valley Elementary School claimed that they fired Della Curry, the school kitchen manager, not because she fed hungry kids, but because she failed to follow their policies numerous times in the past.

school defends firing hungry kids

School defends firing a manager, who fed hungry children by saying loud and clear: “There are no hungry kids at our school.” Della Curry has been making headlines for the past week after she was fired from the Dakota Valley Elementary School in Aurora, Colorado.

Curry told anyone who would listen that she lost her job as the school’s kitchen manager because she was caught on numerous occasions feeding hungry students, who did not have money to buy lunch or did not bring a snack from home.

Curry said she was fully aware that she was violating school policies, but she did not care because she wanted to help. Della Curry, a married mom of two, (a 7-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son), said:

“I had a first grader in front of me crying that she doesn’t have enough money for lunch. Yes, I gave her lunch. … I’ll own that I broke the law. The law needs to change.”

Curry confessed that between 2014 and 2015 she gave out about 20 hot lunches to children, who didn’t qualify for a free lunch. According to Curry, an angry co-worker told her boss what she was doing, and she was fired from her post. She added:

“I knew the whole time it was a firing offense. Somebody told my supervisors what I had done, and it is immediate termination. I will take that if we can change the rules.”

Tustin Amole, a spokesperson for Cherry Creek School District, is defending the district’s actions in firing the 35-year-old woman by saying, “We feed every child,” and adding:

“It has nothing to do with her giving free food to hungry kids?”

Amole claimed that Curry was canned because she violated the policies during the one year she worked at the school. Amole explained:

“The law does not require the school district to provide a 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. No child is ever allowed to go without lunch.”

What are your thoughts on the Della Curry controversy?


Category: News

Comments (40)

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  1. cHICKEN nOOdle says:

    “We feed every child” according to the school, this is pure bull sh8t.
    So why did the lunch lady give food to at least 20 kids, she was bored , I think not.

  2. Concerned Parent says:

    This woman deserves an award for helping those hungry kids, not to lose her job. And I would give a piece of my mind to the stupid co-worker who decided to report her.

  3. rollin says:

    Personally I think she did the right thing.Me growing up in the 70/80s public school system I don’t recall a situation like that ever happening.We were givin free lunches or had too pay reduced or full lunch meals depending on our parents income.If this were a public figure such as a Senator or Congressmen or Congresslady do you honestly think it would make the news at all.Just saying.

  4. quack in the white house says:

    Michelle Obama is busy adding kale and quinoa to school menu selection, she should focus on lowering the cost of lunches instead.

    • Zach says:

      the comment above me is so dumb. you know that diabetes and obesity is this country’s greatest threat? a threat that will cost billions of dollars for people like you who’s hate for Michelle Obama blinds oneself from seeing the forest for the trees.

      • /Dr. Hattie says:

        I agree this person’s comment about our fist is ridiculous. The issue is about feeding hungry children. I worked at a school and it disturbed me to see so much food throne away. Yes Kale and quinoa are 2 of my favorite food. Thank you First Lady Obama for promoting healthy eating. God bless the children!

  5. Amber Hudge says:

    When this lady applied for the job, she signed a contract and was told here are the rules. Seems simple enough, RESPECT the rules.
    It is up to the lazy parents sitting at home waiting for an Obama check to feed their KIDS. Foolish woman, now she is jobless with two kids of her own to feed – see the irony here?

    • Laurie H says:

      You neverrrrr forgot your lunch at home? How cold and heartless you are. Shame on you.

    • Linda says:

      Amber,you are a heartless bi#$%. I worked at a Title 1 school ,more than 70% had free or reduced lunches. Obama was not president nor was the last Bush, it was Clinton and the 1st Bush, one of each party, so now who are you going to blame. No irony, just a caring individual unlike you , concerned with kids not having food.

      • CharInOhio says:

        USE the damn food stamps and SEND YOUR KID LUNCH !!!!!! OR PAY FOR IT !!!! This is BS Lindz !!! The parents do this ON PURPOSE to get their kids “free” lunch at someone else’s expense ….The parents KNOW you will say ….”Poor little kids, who have no lunch and feed them ANYWAYS ……WITHOUT one dime of their money going to feed them … why should they send money ? Don’t you see that ? Meanwhile , they spend their food stamps and or money on cigarettes, tatoos, hair, manicures/ fake nails, and other stuff …..? Have the kids …..FEED THE KIDS ..they are getting money for that / food stamps …..USE THEM !!!!

        • MomofFive says:

          Hopefully CharInOhio doesn’t have any children. I would hate to think any child had to live with or be raised by someone with such a lack of compassion, especially for children.

          Wouldn’t it be nice, in a perfect world, if all parents did the right things and everyone always remembered to check to make sure their kids had lunch money??? I would love it if all parents made the right choices, but unfortunately they DON’T. NO CHILD SHOULD HAVE TO SUFFER BECAUSE OF IT. YOU DON’T PUNISH A CHILD TO TEACH A PARENT A LESSON.

    • CharInOhio says:

      Well, people will THINK I am a monster but , FEED YOUR OWN KIDS !!! As long as parents KNOW their kids won’t go hungry, they WONT PAY !!! Sorry, but that is just TRUTH. IF they can get a FREE LUNCH no matter WHAT IT IS ….the parents feel they don’t have to pay anything. THEY THEN THINK, people will feel sorry for the kids and FEED THEM ANYHOW while the parents blow the money on cigarettes or whatever else …..”Forgetting” money a couple times is one thing , being a CONSTANT thing , is yet another. People SEE THIS AS , “poor little hungry kids” , and THAT IS EXACTLY WHY , the parents of these kids DONT GIVE THEM MONEY FOR LUNCH !!! You think THEY don’t know that ? SURE THEY DO !!! Tell them IF they don’t feed their kids or send them lunch and they do it ONE MORE TIME, Children’s Services will come take the kids …WATCH the money come for lunch !!! ??? Have them, FEED THEM ….bottom line. NOTHING IN THIS WORLD IS “FREE” …SOMEONE …Pays for it !!!

      • Kelly says:

        In the mean time, the children are caught in the middle! I know how much food is wasted; it is sad that the children are the ones who suffer, for they are innocent. It is a no win situation.

    • Garry Lough says:

      Thank goodness YOU are NOT serving kids. You have NO idea what the reason was for those kids not to have lunch money nor the financial status of the parents. Obviously you NEVER went without in your life!

    • norine says:

      you are very cold hearted people saying all this negative things

  6. Amelia H says:

    Jesus, Christ have mercy on us, this is America the most powerful country on this freakin planet and our kids are going hungry.
    Where is congress? Where is the president to do something about this?

    • CharInOhio says:

      Amelia, its the PARENTS resposibility to FEED THEIR OWN KIDS ….If they cannot do so, then the food stamps need to be TAKEN AWAY …or the welfare checks need to STOP COMING …..or the kids need to be taken into state custody where they WILL BE FED …..the parents do this ON PURPOSE to get their kids to eat “free” on other people’s money …..can’t you see that ? Forgetting money a time or two is one thing ….but over that ……you see that your kid has the money for lunch …..IF YOU CARE AND ARENT SCAMMING THE SYSTEM !!!

  7. cecelia akers says:

    I live in Aurora and have been to school when my grandson forgot money if that would happen while i was there i would pay they would bill the parents when did this all change todays goverment needs to change many things and this is one of the worse items also do you want all us citizens in aurora give a dime each to pay back the terrible food she let the child ate also where is the slogan I keep hearing kids first let me know i will even donate a quarter.

  8. VAR says:

    Not only would I give her a job, I would give her a medal for feeding those hungry children…God Bless her and her family.

  9. Kaye from Ohio says:

    I do not think the school officials are telling the truth. They claim a child is allowed to charge three hot lunches and then have one cold lunch. What happens if a child is short of money the fifth time? I do not believe the school officials are acknowledging or responding to this possibility of a fifth time in an attempt to hide the truth about their callous attitude toward young children. I believe the woman did the right thing. Many places of employment require employees to sign agreements, and then the employee finds out something dishonest, unfair, or discriminatory is going on. I believe this woman acted fairly and honestly according to her conscience. It is the school that needs to change.

    • MomofFive says:

      The school isn’t telling the truth. Children are going hungry. They are going hungry because they are too embarrassed to go through the lunch line and get the cheese sandwich and milk they are provided after getting 3 hot lunches provided to them. When they do that they become the perfect target for things like, “Look Timmy doesn’t have any money for lunch”, or “Timmy’s mom and dad don’t have any money”. I can bet the kids that would say those things to be hurtful to other kids might have been raised in a household by parents who hold the same beliefs as CharInOhio.

    • Maria Hunt says:

      It is not the School that needs to change. It is the school District. And the changes are made by Governments approval. Good luck with that!!!

  10. Tom Martini says:

    sorry folks but things really need to change in AMERICA sorry to say but were did our morals go to when did we leave it behind and left our AMERICAN KID TO GO HUNGARY AT OUR AMERICAN SCHOOLS … what the hell . when did we all put greed first before our own and our own self center needs … and why ???? when did our schools become a hell hole and a dumping grounds for pour food for all the kids … you tell me this .. would you feed your kids a cheese sandwich for lunch or make them skip out on lunch at home ??? NOPE I DON’T THINK YOU WOULD AT ALL … THIS LADY TOOK A STAND FOR WHAT IS RIGHT AND TRY TO MAKE A DIFFERENT FOR ALL THE KIDS WHO COULD NOT HAVE A LUNCH AND YOU ALL ARE CUTTING HER SOWN FOR IT … DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER AND TALLER FOR DOING THIS … what the hell has happen to our country ? we were one at a time were we all cared about each other and now it is everyone for themselves and screw the other …… i bet not a soul talks to each other at the dinner table . each person has a cell phone in there hand and they are texting someone at dinner or they are off in another room or something like that … what a shame … and all of you takes a shot at this lady for standing up for what is right ………… you better take a good look in the mirror each morning and think who you are and what you are .. are you a good person or not … are you the type that will help another or walk right by them … i bet you are the second type that would walk right by them …………… with out a though in the world … shame on all of you out there ….. shame on all of you …

    • JST says:

      Sorry Tom but wake up to reality, It’s not the AMERICAN kid in AMERICAN schools causing the problem. It’s all the illegal (99% Mexican, Cuban and South American) kids forced into AMERICAN schools by our glorious president. And just think, he’s pushing for more. American is responsible to feed the kids in school, it’s the child’s parents that need to feed them.
      This women did not do her job, it’s people like her and all the others screaming “HUMANITARIAN” that are causing the problems in our schools and country. People need to stop looking and expecting handouts. They need to work and start taking care of themselves like my grandparents, parents and myself has done. Growing up my parents taught me we do not take from anyone, if e need something go work and earn it. Thats just what I did. My sister was a single mother on a tight budget, she did accept some public assistance. She noted how much she took and repaid EVERY dime she took. The agencies that could not take back the money she received,she donated that amount she owed them to others. Lets see how many people can honestly say that. TAKE CARE OR YOUR SELF. It’s time to STOP all welfare programs and free public housing. I’m tired of paying for this shit for the ungrateful people who have nothing to do with their time and protest all day about police abuse.

    • don says:

      What is wrong with a cheese sandwich and milk. Cheese and milk are proteins, bread has vit. b and iron. My mom fed us grilled cheese alot. My granchild order this at restaurants.

  11. MARY says:

    This wonderful person should get a humanitarian award. Her heart is in the right place. It really doesnt matter whether or not the parents of said children could afford the lunch, whether or not the parents forgot the check, whether or not the child was even hungry at that particular moment in time. SHE DID HER JOB. Her job as kitchen manager was to feed the children. Pardon me, she did her job. I pay enormous taxes for her to do so. I would expect nothing less for my tax dollar, and if i knew that every hungry child would be fed, no matter what, at her hand, I would pay double my taxes to make sure she had the resources to do so. This is nothing more than politics. Someone is making a statement by villifying the kitchen manager so they can claim they fight fraud waste and abuse of tax dollars. All I have to say to the pompous policy makers is stop getting your tax breaks by giving your old clothes away, and putting a few pennies in the kettle at Christmas time (not that these charities don’t need the donation) but do the right thing EVERY DAY! Applaud those who, dress those who have no clothes, Shoe those who walk barefoot, give shelter to those who have none, find those that are lost, and feed those that are hungry. Children in our society have no voice. Children in our society have no recources. Children in our society are the most vulnerable. This woman, yes, broke the rules. She knowingly violated policy. She fed a hungry child. CRIME AGAINST THE TAX PAYER! GUILTY! Instant ticket to heaven, PUNCHED! Those who fire her, nay, pursecute her, you have an appointment with god eventually. Judge not, lest ye be judged, my friend.

    • Renee says:

      I agree. I want my tax dollars to go to assisting those in need and not to starting wars and maximizing profits at the expense of humanity.

  12. RICHARD HOLMES says:


  13. RICHARD HOLMES says:


  14. james ohio says:

    I happen to work in a school and if everyone seen the amount of food thrown away each day from the kitchen then everyone would see the school is not losing any money feeding a couple kids who forgot, lose or are bullied by having lunch money stolen from them. I think we average three 50 gallon garbage cans of wasted food a day in my particular school.

    • Maria Hunt says:

      I also work to the School District and I see that happening every day. I paid lunch to students several times, but I didn’t risk my job going against the school policies, because the money came from my pocket. One person a lot of times can make a difference. But in her case with two kids and now without a job, she will be the one suffering the consequences. And maybe going hungry with her kids until the Law change(if ever will). We have Counselors at the school to talk to the parents and found out why their kids have no money for lunch. They take action after listening to the parents, they give a chance to them to put some money into the children’s account. Each family has a different situation, but the school try to help as much as they can. At least here, where I work. The school provides the lunch, the parents, the money to pay for it. They let the parents know when the kids account is low with money, so they can make another deposit. They follow procedures! If the Principal of the school doesn’t, he(she) is the one to lose the job. We need to look and understand both sides. I am not saying that what she did was wrong, she is a human being with a big heart! But there’s other ways to do things without put a job in risk. In this kind of job, they don’t really need to have a reason to fire employees. It is in their contract. I hope she will be the voice to change things at Public Schools. I hope she can get a better job to feed her family and go on with her life. It is hard when we need to put our hearts first, but unfortunately Employers don’t consider that. Maybe, some Governments will!

  15. ilikecheeseburgers says:

    School Lunch for Monday July 6th:

    Hungry Kids Pasta , Peas,Della Curry (Fire), Steamed Clams.

  16. Marlene white says:

    What is wrong with you people. These are kids we are talking about. We don’t know what happens at home this might be the only meet they get. Who are we to judge, are all of us so perfect that we have the right to deny th the simple right of of food to to someone. I believe this still is a free county and yes if they can they should pay for it. But for us to play judge and jury come on these are kids who will one day be running this country show some compassion.

  17. Garry Lough says:

    Anyone who thinks that feeding a child a hot meal at school REGARDLESS if they can pay or not is wrong, well next time you buy your Starbucks coffee, I hope you burn you tongue off so stupid comments stop coming from insensitive people.

  18. alunchlady says:

    I run a kitchen at a school. It all comes down to the parents. Put money in your kids lunch accounts. It’s not that hard. Then when they forget their lunch there is money to cover it. I have my students call the parents in the morning if the account has been closed because org to many charges. I can tell you I probably have 4 parents out of 290 students that could care less is their child has cheese and crackers everyday because they never want to pay. Make them a lunch from home if you know the account has been closed. No kid ever goes hungry anyway because they all share their lunches.

    • alunchlady says:

      Just to let you know you can always stop by any school and give the kitchen managers money to pay for negative lunch accounts. Put your money where your mouth is if this bothers you so much.

  19. Allen Thompson says:

    It is in opinion that the café manager did the right think. I work for a public school system, the amount of food that gets throw away is amazing. But no student leaves the café without something paid for or not. The fed school lunch program needs to be changed, some of students don’t like what is being served. And will not eat it there for waste. If public school lunch programs guidelines are not followed there funding is cut, there for food services operators at a lost. I think this is a joke, maybe a new president will change things.

  20. luid says:

    kids are required by law to go to school the schools get paid for every single child that attends so yea i think the schools should provide the meal if they have to be there if they were home they would get feed

  21. Chandelle says:

    They’ll be fine and a cheese sandwich and milk for a day, no children would have gone hungry. When kids find out they can keep their money and still get food they stop paying for it and buy toys and candy.

  22. Michele says:

    Growing up we were’nt rich so we had reduced lunches. Had the negative stigma of going to the special line for the poor kids ( self esteem?) I remember the b*tch lunch lady when I forgot my 55 cents ( 40 for meal and 15 for milk) they didn’t feed me. Not that a pathetic cheese sandwich and milk is food… one step up from bread and water. Of course I wasn’t privy to a free breakfast either– that didn’t exist in the 80s

    What I hate is that now we see free breakfast and free lunch for people that are also getting food stamps to feed their kids 3 meals a day… so why is it that these people get the free food at home and at school?

    Frankly school lunch should be free for all students. No point in playing favorites and cut the free breakfast that is limited to those already getting government assistance. Put the breakfast money into providing a good lunch.

    If they can not afford free, then make it a school fee paid at the begininng of the semester by parents to the school with the reduced/free lunch programs as financial aide. Students that bring lunch to school will get credit towards the fee and it can roll over. That way if they forget their lunch an alternate is paid for and if they always bring the lunch the money would be returned at end of school year.

    as to those that think school lunch teaches about the value of money and responsibility… you are giving it way to much credit. All it did was make me pray the bully or just anyone took or stole my money.. alot of stress for a first grader. Want to teach them.. Well then do like the parks and stadiums do no outside soda.. then charge $4 a can $5 a bottle proceeds from the sale to go into the lunch budget. great way to teach supply and demand and other basics in economics.. and keep kids from drinking soda to boot. Set up water as dirt cheap or free and believe me the students will learn.

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