DENVER (CBS4) – A former cafeteria manager took a stand in front of the Cherry Creek School Board Monday night. She says she was fired for giving food to students who didn’t have lunch money.
CBS4’s Tom Mustin first reported on the story that got national attention in June. Della Curry told Mustin that ever since she was fired she was looking forward to addressing the school board. Monday at Greenwood Elementary School she got her wish.
“I’m coming to them with solutions,” Curry told Mustin.
Curry says feeding hungry kids in the district is a real problem and something needs to be done about it. She’s still fighting for change at Cherry Creek Schools.
“There are hungry children in every school district of this country, including Cherry Creek,” Curry told the school board.
One of Curry’s solutions is for the district to accept private donations to feed students who don’t have money for lunch.
“I don’t understand why Cherry Creek won’t do it considering it is encouraged by the same program they’re following,” Curry said.
Tustin Amole with the Cherry Creek School District admitted there are hungry children in the district.
“There are hungry children in Cherry Creek. None of them go without a meal,” Amole said.
But Amole said accepting private donations would put the entire lunch program in jeopardy.
“If we try to supplement those costs ourselves, then the federal government could say, ‘Well, you don’t need our money,’ ” Amole said.
She says five schools in the district qualify for federal funding for school lunches, but she says implementing that program would be too expensive.
“We would be creating a $200,000 problem to cover what is currently about $8,000,” Amole said.
Curry says something needs to be done and the time for excuses is over.
“A school district like Cherry Creek that prides itself on excellence, to feed kids, to give them the right nutrition and the right start is a no-brainer,” Curry said.
Since CBS4’s story first aired in June, several thousand dollars have been donated to the Cherry Creek school lunch program, but as mentioned they’re not allowed to use that money. Curry says her new goal is to get that money out of limbo and into the schools where it belongs.