Who WE Are – Tawanda Barnes

Service with a Smile

William Penn students know they can get more than a tasty meal when they visit the cafeteria, they know they can also count on a friendly smile and a hug from nutrition worker Tawanda Barnes. “What I like most is the interaction with the children. I enjoy seeing their faces,” said Barnes who has worked in Penn’s cafeteria for the last five years. During the summer she also delivers lunches to parks and apartment complexes so students can get nutritious meals year-round, with parents paying a nominal fee or nothing at all if they truly can’t afford it. Barnes recalls working one hot day on her birthday, so she dressed as a princess instead of wearing her usual Colonial T-shirt and khakis. “I was so excited to be a princess for the children & it encouraged them to say I can be a princess, no matter how old I am!” Barnes also recalls the day a cancer patient named Tony made his way to a park where she made lunch deliveries. “He didn’t know how much longer he had to live but he knew year after year we were there to feed him and his children so he wanted to thank us and say hi. It makes me cry because there’s nothing like giving back to the community. There’s nothing like being a server and that’s our job!” For Barnes, working in the Nutrition Services Division is more than a job…serving meals in Colonial is her passion.

Tawanda is #WhoWEAre.