District 205 educators’ unions organize massive snack giveaway for students in need

DOLTON The Faculty Association of District 205 (FAD205) in conjunction with the Union of Support Staff (USS) will be giving a truckload of chips, pretzels and other snacks away to students in the South Suburbs again today. The snacks will be handed out in addition to the meals students are picking up from several locations around the area.

“We are so excited we can do this for our students because we know they could use the extra support, but it’s also a chance for us to connect with the kids,” FAD205 President Dwayne Beardon said. “We miss seeing them every day, and this is really going to be the first chance we’ve had in months to see them in person and check in on how they’re doing. I would also like to thank Dr. Nathaniel Cunningham, Superintendent of District 205 for his support with this project.”

The snacks the unions are giving away are part of a large donation from Frito Lay that was secured by FAD205 and USS in connection with their parent organization the Illinois Education Association (IEA). They started giving out the snacks on Monday. Today is the last day for the giveaway.

“When our school buildings closed, our educators immediately switched gears to make sure their students are not only still learning, but are also getting the support they need,” IEA Vice President Al Llorens said. “We know some of these kids might not have access to food outside of school, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure no one is going hungry. I would also like to thank Tom Lenz and the Partnership for Resilience for their assistance with this initiative.”

Eighty-six percent of the students who attend Thornton Township High School District 205 are considered low income. District 205 serves nearly 5,000 students and includes Thornton Township High School, Thornridge High School and Thornwood High School.

FAD205 and USS represent 516 educators including teachers and support staff who work in District 205.

“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to see our students. We miss our kids. We miss our students. Even though I’m going to be wearing gloves and a mask, that connection will be there. It’ll definitely be emotional for me,” USS President Debra Ward-Mitchell said.

Volunteers from FAD205 and USS will be handing out the snacks at four locations from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today at the following locations:

  • Dolton Park District Commissioners Building (721 Engle Street, Dolton)
  • State Representative Thaddeus Jones Office (15525 South Park Avenue, Suite 104, South Holland)
  • Abundant Living Christian Center (14540 Lincoln Avenue, Dolton)
  • Village of Dolton (14122 Chicago Road, Dolton)

Video of the snack giveaway can be found here. If using the video, please courtesy the Illinois Education Association.

Contact Bridget Shanahan (708.341.4361) with any interview and/or video or photo requests. In light of social distancing, she will help send reporters and photographers to the best location.


The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.

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