Delta Sigma Theta Sorority will host its seventh annual Thanksgiving dinner Thursday night for students not able to head home for the holiday.
The event will be hosted Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. in the Graduate Students Association Lounge on the second floor above the MultiCultural Center. The dinner is offered to all UCSB students, and the sorority is asking attendees to bring three canned food goods to be admitted to the dinner. The cans collected will be donated to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.
Shawna Wright, the event’s coordinator, said about 150 people attended last year’s dinner, and she hopes the same number or more attend the event this year.
Last year the organization ran out of food because of the high turnout, Farrah Brady, the sorority’s social action chair, said. This year, students planning to attend the event need to pick up a free ticket from the Associated Students office before showing up to the dinner. Brady said the tickets help Delta Sigma Theta estimate how much food will be needed at Thursday’s event.
Hiyab Woldeselasie, Delta Sigma Theta community service chair, said that the sorority has hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for the last six years, and that the event is meant to be a service to the local community.
“It’s just a chance for us to reach out to the community and give back [to the community] with the canned donations,” she said.
Turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and macaroni and cheese will be some of the foods served at the event, Wright said. Several of the sorority’s 12 members will help prepare the home-cooked meal, while other members will be helping with the canned-food drive.
Brady said the sorority’s founders started the Thanksgiving dinner to unite the local community. She said Delta Sigma Theta tries to create a family environment for students at the dinner. The meal is served to all attendees at the same time, instead of on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“The whole idea is to sit down with everyone there,” Woldeselasie said.
Wright said some students choose not to go home for Thanksgiving because of how close the holiday is to Winter Break. The event is a chance for students to enjoy a home-cooked meal for Thanksgiving.
“It makes Santa Barbara your family when you’re not with your family because of the way the food is cooked and the atmosphere [it creates],” she said.
Some first year students may feel homesick or miss their families, and the dinner can act to surround students in a family environment, Brady said.
“Its really homely, we have nice decorations,” she said. “It’s people you know or get to know, eating dinner with them, sharing your life experiences, why you came to UCSB. It really does bring a family environment to students, especially first-year students who have been away from home for a long time, and they haven’t been around family for a long time.”