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Campus Kitchen Sponsors Annual Turkeypalooza

Turkeypalooza! It’s time for W&L’s Campus Kitchen to prepare their annual Thanksgiving dinners for the needy in the area.

Members of the campus community have already donated more than 25 turkeys, and additional donations are being accepted until Friday morning, Nov. 21. (If you are still interested in donating a turkey, please email Jenny Sproul ’08, the Campus Kitchens project coordinator, at sproulj@wlu.edu.) Each fraternity was asked for 15 pounds of potatoes plus $15 to cover miscellaneous costs associated with the meal preparation, and the sororities were asked to donate the ingredients used to put together the rest of the Thanksgiving dinner, from vegetables to spices to pumpkin for the pies.

On Friday, Nov. 14, Sproul, and students Jen James ’09, Melissa Caron ’09 and John Henderson ’09, collected turkeys from W&L employees at the entrance to the parking garage as the employees came to work. The Campus Kitchen regulars started cooking the Thanksgiving dinners last Sunday and will continue through Thursday evening. They started delivering the dinners on Wednesday of this week.

In addition to the students, faculty and staff who regularly donate their time at Campus Kitchen, more students, faculty and staff have signed up to help cook and deliver during the holidays. W&L’s Rockbridge County Alumni were told of Turkeypalooza to give them the opportunity to sign up for two-hour cooking or delivery shifts as service projects. CKP’s goal is to actively engage the community and make sure that the kitchen can run effectively even when students are away from breaks and holidays.

To engage the Lexington community in the Campus Kitchen, more area residents are asked to help. For instance, last Sunday, The Lexington Presbyterian Church Youth Group helped mash potatoes and make cards for CKP clients.

In addition to Lexington, food is delivered to clients in Buena Vista and Natural Bridge. Campus Kitchen uses various agencies in the area such as Habitat and Big Brother and Big Sister who identify those in need. Sproul says they are anxious to start working with VMI in hopes of reaching more individuals and families in need across the county.

Last summer, Campus Kitchen started delivering to people at the R.E. Lee Hotel in downtown Lexington where some residents are receiving frozen turkeys and other holiday groceries to cook on their own.

But the food is a means to an end. “Building relationships is the most important aspect of this to a lot of the people who receive food from Campus Kitchen,” says Sproul. “They love to see people coming back week after week to talk to them, to care for them.”