Thanksgiving is approaching, as is the route of the typical college student back to the kid’s table. At Harding, however, “Cafsgiving” mixes faculty and students to give thanks before the start of break.
Turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, mounds of marshmallow sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie will fill the lines of the Charles White Dining Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 14 from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. A 30-year tradition, “Cafsgiving” will provide students and faculty a time to celebrate what they are thankful for over a Thanksgiving meal.
In preparation for the event, Aramark employees look at the past years’ attendance to see how much food they need to order and prepare. Dining Services then uses the marketing department to advertise Cafsgiving through emails, chapel announcements, flyers and Instagram posts.
“The food is considered by many as comfort foods, and we receive very positive feedback about the menu options and flavors,” Senior Food Service Director Lou Christopher said.
The dining hall prepares for special meal days in advance to make sure the food tastes like home. The dining hall will offer this comfort food to the students along with new favorites and flavors the students have not experienced before. With the anticipated feast, an aura of love and thankfulness spreads amongst staff and the students.
“It’s a time to love on the students and let them feel a little bit at home,” dining hall employee and greeter Norma Hilliard said. “This event reminds a lot of the students of mama’s home-cooking. This event is the highlight of my week.”
Hilliard said the event provides a new atmosphere in the cafeteria. She has noticed an increase in the faculty who come into the cafeteria that week to gather, sit and eat with students.
“We work for days to prepare for this,” Hilliard said. “It is our way to show the students how much we love and appreciate them.”
Many students look forward to the meal each year as it marks the nearing of a break and return back home.
“Cafsgiving is the best meal they offer all year,” sophomore, Josh Walker said. “It is better than nug day.”
Faith, family and food will fill the Charles White Dining Hall on November 14 so bring an appetite for the annual Thanksgiving feast.