Campus Kitchen at UGA is gearing up to put on its biggest event of the year: a holiday can drive that runs from November 1st to November 16th. Turkeypalooza is an annual event put on by CKUGA that provides holiday groceries and meals to older adult families. We almost exclusively use recovered grocery store food for the bulk of our operations during the year to ensure their sustainability, but Turkeypalooza is the one time of year that we go above and beyond to provide a special meal to members of our community using donated non-perishables!
Last year thanks to a community coalition of Student Organizations, UGA administrative units and departments, and Athens civic groups and businesses we were able to raise 3,307 items of food. This allowed us to provide a Thanksgiving meal items to over 700 individuals in 200 families.
Organizations that partner with us in this endeavor simply help to collect canned goods. We task the organization to collect a specific Thanksgiving side item with a goal based on the size of their organization. Some of the items we’re collecting this year include:
❖ Sweetened/Condensed Milk
❖ Pumpkin Puree
❖ Cream of Mushroom
❖ Cornbread Stuffing
❖ Gravy Packets
❖ Cranberry Sauce
❖ French Fried Onion
Campus Kitchen will be tabling at the Athens Farmers Market at Bishop Park the first three Saturdays of November from 8 am to 12 pm. We will have a card making activity set up for individuals or families to write messages to the recipients of the can drive, this presents an opportunity to make a difference this time of year even if they don't have the means to donate. We will also be accepting public donations at the same table of the market. For those interested in how they can help with Turkeypalooza, check it out here.
Turkeypalooza isn’t just special in the respect that it deviates from Campus Kitchen’s typical operational plan. It gives a chance for student organizations to give back to a community that’s given them so much. It also allows other community organizations to work together to better their community and make a lasting difference this Holiday season with those less fortunate than them. There’s something to be said about 30+ student and community organizations coming together around the idea that everyone deserves a meal with dignity that really embodies the spirit we nurture here at CKUGA.