Students gobble up campus friendsgiving


Libby Nabhan

Photo taken during the Friendsgiving in Esker on November 16.

Libby Nabhan, Assistant Campus Editor

Each year families sit around the dining table on the 3rd week of November, eating food that makes them feel like home, talking about how thankful they are for the things the past year has brought, or for simply being all together with loved ones another year. On campus, the dining halls decided to bring a piece of home to UWW. On Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 15 and 16) the dining halls hosted their annual “Friendsgiving”; due to the change in management, this year differs from all past years. Instead of the menus of Drumlin and Esker being the same, there was a ‘challenge’ put in place to encourage the chefs to think outside of the box while keeping many of the classics. The menu at drumlin consisted of roasted ham with a coca cola glaze, roasted turkey, mashed potatoes (sweet and regular), gravy, green bean casserole, brussel sprouts, bacon mushroom bread stuffing and broccoli with cheese. As for the menu at Esker, there was apple stuffed pork loan, baked cheese ravioli, pasta primavera, creamed corn, roasted turkey, cranberry apple stuffing, cornbread casserole, green bean casserole, candied sweet potatoes, regular mashed potatoes and vegan chicken with cranberry glaze. The main goal of this dinner was to make students feel at home while being on campus, especially for those that can’t go back home for Thanksgiving. 

Photo taken during the Friendsgiving in Esker on November 16.
(Libby Nabhan)

“The goal was to give everyone a classic thanksgiving dinner that caters to everyone and is craveable with the comfort feel,” said head chef on campus David Branter. 

His main goal for this dinner was to meet the expectations of the students while catering to everyone; especially by keeping not only the students traditional meal ideas in mind but also his own ideas. Because this meal only happens once a year, the population that attends the meal is quite substantial with over 700 meal swipes at Drumlin and over 900 at Esker; this is a 30% increase from the normal amount per meal. As for how much food was made for this event, there was over 350 lbs of mashed potatoes, 30 lbs of turkey gravy, 120 lbs of sweet potatoes, 220lns of turkey breakfast, and 80 lbs of green bean casserole. Due to the excess amount of people, the dining halls are hoping that the students enjoy the meal and feel a little piece of home while away at school. 

“I believe that it is nice to switch it up in the dining halls  and to be able to have gratitude for this meal and the holidays,” said nutritionist Rachel Omdoll on the reason for this meal. 

Although this meal reached many students, there was still a large impact placed on them, from the staffing issues to the students that left early. This year the meal was marketed as ‘Friendsgiving’ which encouraged the students to bring their friends, hallmates, and acquaintances for one of the last meals before they head home; this was also encouraged because another goal of this meal was to help encourage students to bring their new friends and create bonds.  The dining halls have experienced some lowered levels of meal swipes due to the covid in the last few years but with these themed meals, they have noticed a heavy increase in the student population. As for the challenge this year, the goal was to appeal to everyone and put a twist on the classics. This helped to intrigue not only the staff to create a more creative meal but to make the students feel more at home along with a look into others traditions. Along with thinking outside of the box, the chefs took into consideration the nutritional needs of students; by creating vegan/vegetarian options, allergens and overall working to appeal to the different cultures on campus. Overall, the dinner was meant as a way to help students feel more at home while on campus as a ‘pre-thanksgiving’ experience with the friends they have made on campus. 


To find out more information on the upcoming themed meals at the dining halls, visit their website: