For one day in Gibson Dining Hall last week, there was no pizza, no french fries or grilled cheese sandwiches. On Nov. 17, the dining hall staff served up a traditional Thanksgiving meal for a hungry crowd of about 1,000 students.
Jeanette Dyck, Sodexo's residential dining manager, said the annual Thanksgiving dinner is the most popular of the year with students.
"It's a little taste of home for the American students," Dyck said, "and for international students, it is an introduction to the Thanksgiving holiday tradition."
To set a Thanksgiving table for 1,000, the dining staff roasted 36 whole turkeys, 14 turkey breasts and eight whole hams. They baked 60 pumpkin pies, 40 pecan pies, 36 chocolate pies and 18 coconut pies. Add to that the traditional sides of mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole and fresh-baked rolls.
Dyck said the Thanksgiving meal is more work for staff, but something they are happy to do.
"It's a tradition for the students and for us, too," she said.
©2011 Pittsburg State University