Thanksgiving came early this year for Schenectady, New York, residents as they celebrated Turkeypalooza with the Campus Kitchen at Union College (CKUC).
Turkeypalooza, a tradition where Campus Kitchens go above and beyond their normal operations to do a little something extra for their clients, occurs each year across The Campus Kitchens Project network around the holiday season.
On Saturday, November 2, nearly 100 Union College students and faculty/staff cooked and served a traditional Thanksgiving meal at City Mission, an agency dedicated to meeting the needs of the hungry and homeless in the Schenectady community.
Four hours before the meal was to be served, CKUC volunteers began to prepare green beans, stuffing and turkey donated or purchased from Union College dining services, and fresh carrots, sweet potatoes and white potatoes harvested from an on-campus garden. Other volunteers worked to create turkey centerpieces and other festive decor to brighten up the community meal space.
When it was time to eat, several faculty and staff from the college joined the students to help carve the turkeys and serve meals. During the meal, clients were serenaded by a Union College acapella group.
Two meal services later, CKUC volunteers had served over 200 clients a healthy Thanksgiving meal, components of which are difficult to procure in the area, which is classified as a food desert. What’s more, CKUC served nearly twice as many clients for Turkeypalooza as they do on a typical Saturday.
CKUC hosted the first of many Turkeypalooza events in The Campus Kitchens Project network. In fact, many schools are accepting food or monetary donations to make their increased meal services possible. If you would like to contribute to Turkeypalooza efforts, contact the Campus Kitchen near you today.