Urbana High brings back beloved Thanksgiving dinner
Thanksgiving is on Thursday, and many mouths are already starting to water at the thought of a traditional turkey feast.
But for community members who are unable to afford or provide dinner, the Urbana High School student council is hosting its 50th annual Thanksgiving Dinner this week.
The dinner event is making a comeback as a sit-down affair following a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past two years, the UHS student council adapted to the circumstances by organizing grab-and-go dinners.
The event, hosted at the UHS Commons at 1002 S. Race St., Urbana, is free and welcomes the entire community. It's scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. No reservations are needed to attend.
The feast will include many Thanksgiving favorites, such as turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and pies, said Citlali Cortez-Alvarez, the vice president of the UHS student council.
Every year, the event organizers look forward to welcoming community members and college students who don’t have anywhere to go or wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to sit down for a Thanksgiving meal, Cortez-Alvarez said.
Cortez-Alvarez is a junior at UHS but has been involved with the Thanksgiving dinner since she was a child.
“I helped since a very young age since my mom is the sponsor,” she said. “It's really a nice thing to be able to provide this for them and see all the joy it brings to people who might otherwise not have the opportunity to have a fresh, home-cooked, warm meal.”
The event is sponsored by Yvonne Alvarez, a teacher at Urbana High School. She has been involved in the annual Thanksgiving dinner for more than 20 years.
The UHS student council is looking for donations and volunteers. To help, you can call 708-580-6396 or 217-384-3505 and leave a message for the student council.