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UTK Pride Center hosts virtual "Friendsgiving" meal with takeout meals

The Pride Center offered the campus community a catered takeout meal and hosted a virtual Friendsgiving happy hour on Tuesday evening

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Everyone deserves a meal during Thanksgiving, and the Pride Center at the University of Tennessee wanted to make sure as many people as possible could enjoy good food alongside good company.

They organized a "Friendsgiving 2020" event. Normally, the Pride Center would host a potluck celebration and gather together with the campus community. However, the event was held virtually this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead of a potluck they also hired a local business, Lisa Jean's/Big Fatty's Catering, to bring Thanksgiving classics to participants. People could pick up their takeout meals at the center before joining the virtual Friendsgiving on Tuesday, from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m

"One in three students on UTK's campus are food-insecure, and so this is a really important event in order to serve those students who may not get a good meal around the holidays," organizers said.

Organizers said that they had to cut meal requests off early at 100 meals, due to an unprecedented interest in the event. Participants had to sign up before the event to get a meal, and organizers said they contact the first 100 meal sign-ups they received.