Celebrity chef and well-known foodie philanthropist Jose Andres has made headlines once again after offering a recently sacked lunch lady a position at one of his businesses. Taking to Twitter, Andres decided to draw attention to what many feel is a shocking miscarriage of justice, after Bonnie Kimball from New Hampshire was sacked for providing a student with a free lunch.
Posting on the social media platform, Andres wrote, “New Hampshire school cafeteria worker fired for giving food to student who couldn't pay - WHBQ! The hero is Bonnie Kimball! If she needs a job we have openings at @thinkfoodgroup if you know her, let her know!” He also included a link to a website containing details of the original story.
While it would be easy to dismiss the tweet as an opportunity to increase his public profile, there is evidence that Andres was deadly serious about the offer. In addition to reaching out over social media, it has been claimed that Andres also got in touch with Kimball via the telephone, reiterating his proposal directly according to a report in the Boston Herald.
Such an act of charity would not be out of character for the famously magnanimous Andres. His non-profit organisation World Central Kitchen has been heavily involved in a number of humanitarian efforts around the world, including assisting in the aftermath of the devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico, feeding Mexican migrants on the border with the United States and providing relief to those affected by Californian wildfires in 2018. Given his track record, it’s unsurprising that the chef was tipped for a Nobel Peace Prize last year.
Kimball’s story proved particularly compelling as it appears to have come about as a result of her own small act of kindness. If reports are to be believed, the lunch lady was fired for letting a student skip out an $8 lunch fee, on the condition that he would pay it back the next day. Although the student did indeed pay for his meal in full less than 24 hours later, Kimball was told that she would be removed from her position due to company policy.
Andres is not alone in reaching out to the unfortunate lunch lady. In the aftermath of the incident, a GoFundMe was set up by concerned citizens, and has received donations totalling $5,000. Though the experience of being released from a position that she had held for over four and a half years was no doubt traumatic for Kimball, there can at least be some crumb of comfort that she has sympathisers in her corner.