TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - University of Arizona students sticking around on campus this year will have a Thanksgiving meal.
The tradition to have the meal on campus originally started as a way to serve international students who couldn’t go home. But this year, it expanded to everyone- allowing students to feel safe while not feeling completely cut off from the holiday.
Like students Ximena and Estefania Camacho.
“This year we decided to not see our family,” said Estefania.
“It’s just wanting to take care of your loved ones and being precautious, even if it’s being extra precautious,” said Ximena.
Still, Ximena and Estefania are finding one thing to be grateful for- each other. The two sisters from Vail aren’t even risking a trip across the state to keep their family safe.
“Normally we would see our grandparents and extended family, but traveling was something of concern to us especially because our grandparents are older and just more susceptible to getting sick,” said Estefania.
To keep some traditions alive, they picked up their own turkey dinners to go, thanks to the University of Arizona.
Put on by the Graduate and Professional Student Council, one thousand pre-packaged meals were handed out Wednesday.
“To still have some amount of normalcy and knowing that they’re being looked after, even if they aren’t going to see their families,” said Shilpita Sen, GPSC Student Body President.
The increased need for these bags full of food became clear when the sign up went live earlier in the week.
“It was overwhelming for us,” said Sen. “In less than 24 hours when our link went live this year, we reached capacity.”
Other campus groups had to step in to fill the orders, making sure 1,000 students had a bite to eat.
And the students are thankful that they have a little slice of home for the holiday.
“It’s what Thanksgiving’s all about, being thankful; and being together and happy that we’re here together,” said Estefania.
If your students are returning home for Thanksgiving, health experts strongly recommend they wear a mask since they are considered outside of your household