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Member & Activist Spotlight

Dori Wiegand: We did this for the kids

Doriann “Dori” Wiegand is a Food Service worker in Michigan City, Indiana who ensured students were fed during the pandemic.
A photo of Dori Weigand
Published: March 15, 2021

After buildings closed last year we had to move fast to come up with how we would keep kids fed until our summer program would begin.

We made thousands of meals, and families came and picked them up. Our school bus drivers went to playgrounds and trailer parks to distribute the food we prepared.

Our food service program has reached nearly the same number of students while buildings were closed as it did before the pandemic.

We would pack frozen breakfasts and lunches for our students for five days and distribute them during two pickup times, so the adults didn’t have to return multiple times per week.

Each bag has instructions on how to thaw or heat the meals, which were everything from fresh vegetables to tacos.

We never turned a family away.

The most difficult part of the school building being closed is missing the kids coming into the lunchroom and getting those smiles and hugs. 

Our entire staff worked so well together to get the job done. We did more than I ever thought we could.

We did this for the kids—three-quarters of them are from low-income families.

We figured out everything we had to do at unfamiliar job sites to get through those first critical months when all of our students were learning virtually. Our district provided the PPE and disinfectants we needed.

We will all just be so happy to see our students at school again and to be able to see each other at union meetings.


National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.