Berkeley celebrates Thanksgiving with community, food

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Thanksgiving Day is around the corner and UC Berkeley, the city of Berkeley and students are getting into the Thanksgiving spirit with food drives, dinners and other events focused on community and food.

Campus freshmen Ella Winchester and Maleah Moore said they will be celebrating Thanksgiving with their family. Winchester’s extended family is coming to her house in El Sobrante, Calif., whereas Moore will be surrounded by her family in San Diego.

Moore was excited that her family will be hosting Thanksgiving for the first time. She added that instead of one family member cooking all the food, her family celebrates Thanksgiving as a potluck in which a variety of Pilipinx food is brought to the table. Moore’s Thanksgiving this year will be special because her cousin from the U.S. Navy will be with her family for the holiday for the first time.

“It’s going to be a party,” Moore said.

The city of Berkeley is also getting ready for Thanksgiving. The city is holding a holiday food drive where, according to the city’s website, they will be “collecting non-perishable food items from the community to donate to the Berkeley Food Pantry.” The food drive is located at 2701 Telegraph Avenue and will be happening for the month of November.

The Berkeley Police Association, or BPA, is putting together “turkey baskets” that will be distributed to Berkeley families, as first reported by Berkeleyside. BPA plans to distribute 500 boxes this year.

The Basic Needs Center’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week campaign is a part of the campus’s celebration of Thanksgiving, which aims to educate those who may not have meals to eat during the holidays.

The Graduate Berkeley hotel, in keeping with the theme of food and community, is hosting a large Thanksgiving dinner today from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. with the UC Berkeley Division of Student Affairs.

According to Jasmine Hazfir, the coordinator of this year’s dinner, the purpose of the fourth Annual Thanksgiving Dinner is “to bring other students into a community and give a family feel to the campus.” The dinner will feed 500 to 600 people and is being catered by the hotel, according to Hazfir.

“We want to spark friendship,” Hazfir said. “We want people to give people a festive feeling with a home-cooked meal.”

Contact Robson Swift at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @swift_robson.