Annual Turkey Feast returns to campus

Jason Lin, Jonathan Chen, and Avi Srinivasan

Volunteers hand out apple and pumpkin pie to students during lunch on Friday on the Quad. Charu Gupta, president of the Palo Alto High School Parent Teacher Student Association, said she was determined to organize the Turkey Feast despite some difficulties. “There’s a shortage of supplies out there, but we really, really wanted to make this happen for our students,” Gupta said. “This is one of the most fun events I know — students and staff [will] all remember this.” (Photo: Jonathan Chen)
Students and staff alike show their Thanksgiving spirit with the return of Palo Alto High School’s annual Turkey Feast tradition during lunch on Friday on the Quad.

The Paly Parent Teacher Student Association has hosted the Turkey Feast — an event where students are invited to buy a meal composed of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pie — since 2004. This year, the event also featured a performance by the Paly Pep Band. According to Paly PTSA president Charu Gupta, the feast had over 80 volunteers.

Gupta said this year’s feast incurred additional costs due to the impacts of COVID-19.

“This was an unusual year because food costs have gone up,” Gupta said. “The supply and demand issues meant that there’s a lot of stuff that just wasn’t available.”

According to Turkey Feast coordinator Kristen Anderson, a portion of the event’s proceeds will go to the Ecumenical Hunger Program, a non-profit that provides support services to local communities including East Palo Alto.

“It [the Turkey Feast] is doing something for our own community but also helping others in need,” Anderson said. 

Numerous students, including junior Jacob Kasanin, said they enjoyed the event.

“I think it’s going really well. There’s a great turnout,” Kasanin said. “The band’s definitely helping out; it just seems like people are in a Thanksgiving-like spirit.”

Sophomore Roxanna Reid, a first-timer to the Turkey Feast, said she was surprised by the quality of the food. 

“The turkey looks great,” Reid said. “I was expecting [something] like hot lunch food, but this is really good.”