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Forum, April 22: Mascoma High cafeteria worker treated unjustly


Sunday, April 21, 2019
Mascoma High cafeteria worker treated unjustly

In the cafeteria at Mascoma Valley Regional High School, a special crew of “kitchen ladies” blessed us. For a modest wage and without fringe benefits — no health insurance, no paid vacations or time off when sick — these quiet heroes have performed the daily ritual of cheerfully preparing and serving good meals to children in a poor district of great need. That is until recently.

The personal concern and steady presence of a familiar face can bring light to kids, many of whom have experienced the darkness of hunger. They know their first names. They serve food with a homemade style that featured loving kindness and a smile. They are loved and respected by students and staff.

Recently, a visiting official from the school’s contracted food service removed a longstanding member of the cafeteria staff through a quick and unjust decision. Bonnie Kimball was acting in good faith while dealing with a student whose account did not have enough money at that time to cover the full price of the meal. She knew the student’s family and felt certain that the student’s mother would remedy the shortfall the next day.

The official observed this interaction. On the next day, Kimball was fired by this person for “stealing” and was escorted out of the building. In solidarity, two fellow workers quit in protest. Out the door went 20 years of incredible loving kindness to our school community.

We are grateful for the “kitchen ladies” and their presence in our lives. Who looks out for the next generation of hungry souls during times of food insecurity? Some, like Kimball, are guided by faith that asks us to be mindful of the needs of others. Some are directed by commitment to serve the greater good. Some know the real truth of hunger. Some are fed by the nourishment that they bring to others.

These three good women will not be forgotten and will find other ways to be of service. Meanwhile, we will miss them at Mascoma and wish they were still with us.

DONLON WADE

Canaan

The writer is a student assistance counselor in the Mascoma Valley Regional School District.

Corrupt government will destroy us

As I have said before, what is going on in the United States is totally wrong. As a young Abe Lincoln said in a speech to the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Ill., on the topic of The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions: “Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! … If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.”

Dictators throughout history lied, cheated and murdered millions of innocent men, women and children for power and control. If you watch (or read) The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, you will see what happened then is happening now in this country. We are letting corrupt government and money lead the way. God help us. They won’t.

ROBERT POLLARD

Enfield