"Thankful For You" — a collaboration between Eastern Michigan University, the Hundley Foundation and Chartwells Higher Education — is a delicious success

Dr. Connie Ruhl-Smith, President James Smith, and EMU alumnus and former football player Samuel Estes stand by the Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels van, ready to deliver meals.
Thanksgiving meals were delivered by Dr. Connie Ruhl-Smith, President James Smith, and EMU alumnus and former football player Samuel Estes.

YPSILANTI – “Thankful For You” gave community members, students, faculty, and staff something to smile about this holiday season. The two-part Friendsgiving-themed event was hosted by Eastern Michigan University (EMU), the Hundley Foundation (HF), and Chartwells Higher Education on Nov. 16 to feed 1K Ypsilanti residents and organizations.

In a WXYZ interview, EMU President James Smith said, “there are a whole lot of folks that don’t have a traditional Thanksgiving like we traditionally have, so we wanted to make sure that we provide a little bit of that Thanksgiving cheer.”

Chartwells worker and Swoop slice food to serve at the community meal at the Commons.
"Thankful For You" was a huge success. See a gallery of images from the day here.

Thanksgiving meals were delivered or served by student volunteers, former EMU football player Samuel Estes, EMU President James Smith and his wife Connie Ruhl-Smith, and members of EMU athletics. A celebration followed the meal delivery at The Commons, featuring a traditional Thanksgiving feast, holiday-cooking demo, raffles, and canned food drive.

In a news release, Samuel Estes, EMU alumnus and vice-chairman of the Hundley Foundation’s Board of Directors said, “I’m excited to partner with my alma mater and Chartwells to lead such an important mission in spreading holiday cheer and providing hot meals to those in need.

Event organizers hope this is an annual event for the community.

“Thankful For You” is an extension of “Thank-Ful,” an annual national event spearheaded by Chartwells, the national food service management company behind the University’s EDining operation.  

About Chartwells
Chartwells is the recognized leader in contract food service management, hospitality, and award-winning guest service within over 300 college and university dining environments throughout academic institutions across the U.S. Chartwells' nutritious cuisine not only satisfies the unique appetites, lifestyles, and dietary needs of every guest dining on campus, but it also brings people together to promote the high-intensity relationships that will prepare students for the future. For more information, visit www.ChartwellsHigherEd.com, www.ChartwellsMonthly.com, www.DineonCampus.com.

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

About the Hundley Foundation
The Hundley Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children and families in need. The foundation creates and implements initiatives that focus on health, education, diversity, mentorship and awareness for communities that are disenfranchised and underserved. Founded by NFL QB Brett Hundley in 2019, the foundation has provided scholarships, internships, art therapy, support groups and a fatherhood program since its inception. For more information, join #TheTEAM or to make a donation, visit www.hundleyfoundation.org 

November 18, 2022

Written by:
Melissa Thrasher

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher