Thankful for my home away from home.


By: Jane Hulse, Food Science and Technology | Mendota Heights, MN

One of the decisions out-of-state students have to make is whether or not going home for Thanksgiving is feasible. I was one of the students unable to go home, and was not looking forward to missing my favorite holiday of delicious food with my family in favor of responsibly staying at school and studying chemistry. Fortunately, however, both CFAES and OSU had my back. I got not one, but two Thanksgivings.

My first Thanksgiving was a lunch sponsored by the Ohio State Food Science Club was the third floor of the Parker Food Science Building. Not only was the main course of traditional Thanksgiving food delicious, but the dessert competition provided a wide array of confections each trying to be tastier than the last. And, in the name of being a fair judge, you have an excuse to sample many. The only cost was an offering to the canned goods collection.

My second Thanksgiving was put on by the university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of International Affairs the Ohio Union. Surrounded by families and fellow students the day of Thanksgiving, I enjoyed turkey, cranberries, corn bread, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and of course pie. A few fun facts were provided on a tent card in the middle of the table. About 1,600 guests were expected, which meant that 120 turkeys were roasted for the occasion. Along with all that turkey, volunteers served 1026 pounds of sweet potatoes (which were amazing), 1296 pounds of vegetables, 306 pounds of cranberry sauce, and 416 pounds of pie. What’s amazing is all those people got all this food for free. All that is asked is that diners fill out a short survey online after the meal.

My two Thanksgivings reflect my experience being an Ohio State student and member of the College of Food Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. The annual Thanksgiving Lunch sponsored by the Food Science Club was a smaller event that was attended mostly by people in the College. The lunch felt more homey since I knew some of the people there. The second Thanksgiving, sponsored by the ODI and OIA was huge and diverse, like our university, but both Thanksgivings reflected the spirit of togetherness and generosity that makes THE Ohio State a home away from home.