An Ohio elementary school lunch lady says she was fired for buying food for hungry children.

Debbie Solsman was the beloved lunch lady at Denver Place Elementary School in Wilmington for 14 years.

When students couldn’t afford to pay for their food, Solsman said she covered the cost out of her own pocket, or she wrote IOUs, put them in the cash register and paid them off with her next paycheck.

Solsman said she would also buy food for children who were still hungry after eating their lunch.

"I sometimes would buy [hungry students] an extra slice of pizza because I did feel them out, ask them what they had for supper the night before. Sometimes they would tell me nothing,” Solsman explained.

The Wilmington City School District quietly terminated Solsman’s employment in February for “failure to account for food sales at (her) cashier job in the cafeteria and providing food without payment to (her) grandchildren.”

It wasn't until recently that parents and students realized she wasn't coming back, and now they want to know why.

The district said that children are provided with a free breakfast, and they can get three lunches on credit. If they don’t have money after that, students get cheese sandwiches instead of regular lunches.

Solsman said she didn't like to see students embarrassed about having to eat cheese sandwiches, or hungry students who were insecure about asking for more.

“I do admit to wrongdoing,” she told Fox 19. “I broke the rules.”

Despite her firing, Solsman said she would do the same thing because she truly cares for the kids.

“I miss them terribly,” she said. "And I love them very much.”


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