Chartwells hosts “Thank-ful” event to fight food insecurity


Sophie Hume

Students vocalize what they’re thankful for on colorful sticky notes.

On Thursday, Nov. 18, Chartwells at Oakland University hosted a Thanksgiving event — Thank-ful. Thank-ful is a nationwide event that takes place at more than 300 U.S. college and university campuses. At the OU event, students had the opportunity to give thanks, celebrate togetherness and fight food insecurity.  

“We want to focus on less fun activities and more on community events,” one of the employees from Chartwells said. “The Thank-Ful event is about service and giving back to the community — a time to be thankful and celebrate.”  

Taking place at 11:30 and 4:30 in both the Vandenburg and Hillcrest dining halls, students were served a Friendsgiving-type meal with classic Thanksgiving dishes — turkey breast, poultry dressing stuffing, green bean casserole, roasted carrots, brown sugar glazed ham, olive oil mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, lime cilantro cabbage coleslaw, cranberry crumble, sweet potato pie and baked macaroni and cheese. 

The dining halls had a variety of dessert options, and students had the chance to vote for their favorite. Students said: “The food was really good” and “The rolls and turkey were especially delicious. I also got some of the sweet potato soup.” 

Many students showed up throughout the day to enjoy the Friendsgiving feast. For every student that swiped into Hillcrest and Vandenburg to get food during the day, items were donated by Chartwells to Lighthouse of Pontiac — an organization based in Oakland County, which, partnered with South Oakland Shelter, fights to alleviate poverty in communities through service. 

Students also had the opportunity to spin a special wheel in order to win fun prizes. The prices included: koozies, stickers, reusable straws, lip balm, gatorade bottles, fidget pens and even a spinner’s choice. The wheel was very popular among the students, and many koozies were given away.

Among the special events in the hall was a “thankful” wall. Students could write things they were thankful for on colorful sticky notes, and then post the notes on a wall in the middle of the hall. Many notes talked about family and friends. Others included people’s names such as those of their friends and significant others. Some unique ones included “this grant money,” “Saturday breakfasts,” “One Direction,” “ice cream” and “therapy.”  

With so much to be thankful for, notes were overlapping on the board. One student said: “On the way out, we passed by the wall of thanks. It had way more sticky notes on it than it did back when we put ours on. I put my professor, and one of us put John, one of the Chartwells workers, since he’s been very helpful.” 

OU is also hosting a food drive throughout the month of November to support the on-campus food pantry, in addition to donating items to Lighthouse of Pontiac. To learn more about how to donate to the OU food pantry or receive food assistance, visit or stop at the pantry in the basement of the Oakland Center.