Eastern Michigan University, Hundley Foundation, Chartwells and Golden Limousine to host “Thankful for You” event to distribute more than 1,000 Thanksgiving-themed meals to community members

Event features meal giveaway and traditional sit-down dinner

Still life with fall pumpkins and a block with "Thankful" in calligraphic script.

YPSILANTI – In keeping up with the season of giving thanks, Eastern Michigan University, the Hundley Foundation, Chartwells and Golden Limo are hosting the second “Thankful for You” event on Thursday, Nov. 16 at the George Gervin GameAbove Center, located at 799 N. Hewitt Rd, Ypsilanti. EMU President James Smith, former NFL player Brett Hundley, chairman of the Hundley Foundation, and other officials will kick off the two-part event with a “Thankful Meals to Go” giveaway at 11:30 a.m., followed by a sit-down meal for community members at 4 p.m., both at the Center. 

Brett Hundley, Chairman
Hundley Foundation

“Eastern Michigan University is honored to team up with the Hundley Foundation, Chartwells, and Golden Limousine to host an event that gives back to the Ypsilanti community and our students, who are at the heart of our campus,” said EMU President James Smith. “We are thankful for the volunteers and hosts who donated their time and resources to make this event happen.”

Community members can choose from two free meal options. During the drive-through event, University and Hundley Foundation officials, EMU athletics, Swoop, the University mascot, and volunteers will provide meal kits serving up to six people with traditional staples alongside a combination of frozen turkeys, ham, and pies for easy reheating.

At 4 p.m., EMU and its partners will host an in-person Thanksgiving-themed meal featuring favorites such as brown sugar glazed ham, classic dressing stuffing, and cranberry relish. The event will also showcase a band performance. Additionally, on the same day, a campus event is planned for EMU students, staff, and faculty, with holiday fixings, a canned food drive, interactive sustainability crafts, and more.

“With Thanksgiving around the corner, what better way to celebrate than coming together to thank the people who keep EMU and Ypsilanti thriving,” said Samuel Estes, EMU alumni and vice-chairman of the Hundley Foundation’s Board of Directors. The Hundley Foundation chairman and former NFL player Brett Hundley will volunteer his time with Estes to provide meals and engage with the students and faculty on campus.

“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.  

“At EMU, we always seek ways to collaborate, generate excitement, and interact with our greater campus community,” said Beth Smith, registered dietitian nutritionist and director of community wellness & sustainability of Chartwells at EMU. “Thank-Ful is a meaningful event to express our gratitude to each other and give back to our community. Through Thank-Ful, students will have a unique opportunity to give thanks for what they have, celebrate their community, and share with those in need through food-focused give-back activities. This year, the impact will be even greater thanks to the generosity and spirit of the Hundley Foundation, Golden Limo, and EMU.”

EMU invites students and the community to attend the “Thankful” events and enjoy a hot meal during this season of giving. 

For more information, including free shuttle service details to and from the George Gervin GameAbove Center, visit the webpage

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.

November 08, 2023

Written by:
Melissa Thrasher

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher