Lunch Lady Who Was Fired For Giving Free Meal to Hungry Student is Offered Her Job Back

Dalene Bowden was fired after she gave away the $1.70 meal to a 12-year-old girl at Irving Middle School in Idaho.

An Idaho lunch lady who was fired after she gave a free meal to a hungry child has been offered her job back.

Dalene Bowden was placed on leave on December 15 after she gave away the $1.70 meal to a 12-year-old girl at Irving Middle School.

Earlier this week, she received a one-page letter from the he Pocatello/Chubbuck School District informing her she had been fired over her "theft" of school property.

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Following public backlash, the school district offered Bowden her job back on Thursday.

"During this holiday season, emotions and feelings abound in the spirit of giving and looking after the needs of others," the district said in a statement.

It continued: "The District has been in communication with Ms. Bowden extending an opportunity for her to return to employment with the District."

The district has not yet responded to INSIDE EDITION's request for comment.

Bowden previously said she was placed on leave despite offering to pay for the $1.70 meal herself.

"I love my job, I really do," she wrote on an online fundraising page. "This just breaks my heart, and I was in the wrong, but what do you do when the kid tells you that they’re hungry, and they don’t have any money? I handed her the tray."

After news of her termination spread, more than 86,000 supporters signed an online petition by Thursday.

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"How could they?" it read. "The Idaho school district fired lunch lady Dalene Bowden this week for giving a hungry child a lunch! We need to send a clear message to these heartless bureaucrats."

It is not yet clear if she will return to the job.

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