These Dallas Cafeteria Workers Made the Cover of Time

On April 9th, Time magazine released a special edition article with five different covers showcasing five incredible frontline workers going above around the world. These covers feature people putting themselves at risk of catching COVID-19 so they can go to work and keep the world running.

The feature, Heroes of the Front Lines, includes twelve stories from amazing individuals working hard to uplift and support the people in their community. These heroes range from bus drivers, to food bank workers, to nonprofit employees, farmers, hospital workers and more in different countries across the globe.

Before COVID-19 took the world by storm, Yolanda Fisher was just a regular cafeteria manager—and Porsche Lacey, Keke Lafayette, Shannon Wiggins, Pamela Harrington and Katrina Parker were just regular food service assistants. When schools in Dallas, TX closed on March 23rd, these six incredible workers wanted to do more to help the kids they’ve grown so accustomed to caring for—and by doing so, they inadvertently became international heroes when Time chose them for one of their five covers.

Prepared lunch consisting of various ingredients

Supporting Kids in Their Community

Fisher and her cafeteria assistants didn’t stop caring for the kids who attended T.W. Browne Middle School just because they could no longer see them every day. Thus they began making “grab and go” meals so that every Thursday students can pick up a weeks’ worth of food. The workers especially worried about the children who relied on school for the only meal they would get that entire day; now they and their families don’t have to worry about going hungry during this pandemic.

Regarding why doing this was important to all of them, Fisher said, “I’m still going to work because we’re still feeding the kids—it’s not just kids that attend my school, it’s any child that stayed in Dallas and they need a meal. And if a family is really in need, we give the adults a meal as well.”

Since they began this incredible work until the time the article released, Fisher and her team processed, packed and distributed over 1M meals. They don’t have any plans to stop.

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Not Without Risk

They continue to work tirelessly to ensure that kids in the community have access to food despite the inherent risks and their severe lack of access to safety precautions.

Although they have gloves, masks and sanitizer, and wash their hands often, the workers had to purchase these provisions on their own; the school didn’t have masks available and instructed them to settle for using a bandanna to cover their faces, despite the dangers of mixing reusable masks and high-risk environments.

Though aware of the potential for infection, fear never slowed them down. As Fisher’s quote across her Time cover says, “I’m a server for life. It’s an honor to serve those kids who really need it.”

Other Time Honorees

Alongside these Dallas cafeteria workers, the other four covers featured Danny Kim, a paramedic from Teaneck, NJ; Michael Fowler, a coroner from Dougherty County, GA; Francesco Menchise, an anesthesiologist from Ravenna, Italy; and Alanna Badgley, a paramedic from Yonkers, NY. Their stories and the others demonstrated the incredible care and compassion exhibited by frontline workers around the world. More than ever, we see humanity’s capacity for taking care of our most vulnerable—even when it’s risky.

On being on the cover, Fisher says, “It’s an honor. Because this is something we do day in and day out. And now we’re being recognized for something we’ve been doing for years.”

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