The Webster Groves lunch lady who got into trouble for giving free meals to a student will be back at her job at Hudson Elementary on Monday.
Dianne Brame said Friday that she had a meeting with officials at her employer, Chartwells, Friday and she is able to go back to work in the cafeteria at the school.
“I love the kids, so I’m happy to be going back,” she said.
Brame says she gave free meals to a student whose parents did not renew the paperwork necessary to qualify for free or reduced price meals.
She said the parents did not read English and she made multiple attempts to get the paperwork before giving the child free food. The fourth-grade boy’s unpaid balance had gotten up to $45, Brame said. In cases where students cannot pay for meals they are given cheese sandwiches, she said. But Brame said those children are often teased.
Officials from the Webster Groves School District say they already have procedures in place to get hot meals to children who need them, and that she should have notified the principal.
Superintendent Sarah Riss wrote to parents in a message Friday regarding the news reports about Brame.
“Our understanding is that Chartwells decided to move the individual from Hudson to another location and the employee refused the offer,” Riss said in the message.
Brame said that she was confronted on Tuesday after the food service company found out about the free meals. They offered her a position at another school, but after her husband’s death in February, she no longer has a car and uses public transportation to get to Hudson, so she did not want another location.
In the letter to parents, Riss said the school district is committed to making sure all students are fed.
“Please know that no child in the Webster Groves School District would go hungry for lack of payment,” she wrote. “We take care of our families when informed of such situations.”