Grad students talk turkey

When it became clear that many Yale graduate students wouldn’t be traveling home for Thanksgiving, student leaders decided to bring the holiday to them.
Yale grad students on Cross Campus with turkeys.

When it became clear that many Yale graduate students wouldn’t be traveling home during Thanksgiving holiday to minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus, leaders of the Yale Graduate Student Association (GSA) decided to bring the holiday to them — through free turkeys and virtual cooking lessons.

The student group bought more than 80 turkeys — and 14 tofu loaf kits — from Adams Hometown Market in Milford — which were made available at four different contact-free pickup locations.

Our group is centered on bringing ‘community’ to grad students,” said Meaghan McGeary ’18 M.Phil., a Ph.D. candidate and GSA chair and steering committee member. 

At the same time, the group is encouraging students to give back to the New Haven community. Students who are receiving the free meals are being encouraged to, in turn, donate to the GSA’s Neighborhood Turkey Fund. Dollars raised will be split between two local nonprofits — the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK) and Food in Service to the Homebound (FISH), a downtown food delivery program. They’ve raised $700 so far.

McGeary has adopted a motto: “We feed you, you feed New Haven.” 

The student group has also enlisted the help of Drew Daniels, an M.D.-Ph.D. student and food enthusiast, who offered to record a cooking tutorial for students cooking at home. The video will be posted on YouTube and the GSA website.

In addition, two graduate students will answer questions via Zoom for graduate students on Thanksgiving morning, giving them a way to connect online and share their cooking experiences. Maria Del Mar Galindo ’08 B.A., ’20 M.A./M.Phil., a Ph.D. candidate in English Language and Literature, will talk turkey. Kristin Herdman ’20 M.A./M.Phil., a Ph.D. candidate in Medieval Studies, will field questions about tofu loaves. 

We hope this helps students create their own ‘little Thanksgivings’ in New Haven despite being away from family and friends,” said McGeary. “This might be the seeds of new traditions for years to come.”


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