The Thanksgiving meal includes glazed ham, turkey, mashed potatoes and more

Grab some friends and make room for pie — it is time for Liberty’s annual Friendsgiving.

The Food Court at Reber-Thomas will host a Thanksgiving meal on campus Nov. 15 from 5-8 p.m. 

Sodexo puts on Friendsgiving every year to allow students to experience a Thanksgiving meal at their home away from home. 

“This is something so special that Liberty puts on,” Olivia Shook, a student at Liberty, said. “It is a great way to get plugged into the university while you experience a Thanksgiving-themed dinner
on campus.”

University dining hall employees will be preparing traditional Thanksgiving foods such as glazed ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and sweet potato casserole, along with various
flavors of pie.

Students with dietary restrictions will not be left out of the fun. A Simple Servings meal serve Thanksgiving foods made
free of allergens.

Duke Davis, Sodexo’s district manager, sees the event as a way for students to fellowship with hallmates and friends this
Thanksgiving season.

“We see a lot of fellowship amongst the students throughout the school year, but what happens on that day during the dinner is always pretty amazing to observe,” Davis said.

Along with being an opportunity for on-campus fellowship, Friendsgiving also provides a meal for those students who are unable to travel home to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families.

“For my friends, a lot of us live in different areas and some have family out of the country, so they don’t get to go home to celebrate Thanksgiving,” Shook said. “Having the opportunity to have that community here with people they care a lot about is just so special.”

Each year, students gather as a hall or friend group and head to the Food Court at Reber-Thomas where they decorate tables with tablecloths and place settings to make the space their own. This creates an environment that is more personal to each student, mimicking their own family styles and differing Thanksgiving traditions.

Davis mentioned that he enjoys observing Liberty students gather for the event each year.

“Most universities have a Thanksgiving-themed dinner, but of all that I have worked in, no one makes it special like Liberty students do. That is the thing that my staff and I enjoy the most each year,” Davis said.

Not only is this event a way for Sodexo to give to Liberty students, but it is also an opportunity to bless the dining hall staff, as well as the community.

“We have a lot of people that work that day, and I do not think a lot of people know this, but I give turkeys to all my employees,” Davis said. “It helps them to not have to worry about finding their own, and I also donate turkeys to the Lynchburg Sheriff’s Department, who gives them out to families in need.”

With construction on a new dining hall underway, this will be the last time a Thanksgiving meal will be served at the Food Court at Reber-Thomas. According to Davis, both commuter and residential students are encouraged to come gather in the dining hall for this unique opportunity for fellowship.

“I would suggest that others come and invite people from their hall,” Shook said. “I encourage anyone to get a group together and go. We are called to be in fellowship and community with each other, so this is a perfect way to partake in that.”    

White is a news reporter for the Liberty Champion

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