For the past 14 years, one Ohio lunch lady has spent her days making sure the children at Denver Place Elementary School were fed and full, but the school recently fired her for doing her job a little too well.
This past February, beloved lunch lady Debbie Solsman was fired by the district after she intentionally broke the rules and give extra food to kids who were still hungry or even upgrade lunch for students who had no money at all and were supposed to get cheese sandwiches.
“If they didn’t have enough money in their account, they would get a cheese sandwich instead … The other kids knew when they walked out into the cafeteria why they got the cheese sandwich,” Solsman said. “There were children that got a free lunch that would come back and say, ‘Miss Debbie, I’m still hungry’ … And you don’t know how many times I heard they didn’t have supper that night.”
Solsman couldn’t bare to let a child go hungry and would almost always help them if she could, but would keep IOU notes and even paid for food out of her own pocket. Despite going above and beyond for the children, the district still fired her and parents were furious when they heard the news.
“I broke the rule,” Solsman said. “I’m the one that broke the rule, it’s not the district, and I really want everybody to know that my 14 years that I was there, Wilmington City Schools were good to me … But in my heart, when that child tells me they’re hungry, do I believe them or just say, ‘No, you don’t need any more today?’ How do you determine the difference between that?”
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[Featured image: ABC9]