November 6, 2023
Thanksgiving Day Buffet back for 34th year
The College of St. Scholastica is proud to once again host the annual Twin Ports Region Thanksgiving Day Buffet. Back at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center, this community event is expected to draw a crowd in 2023.
Over 700 volunteers will be needed to prepare up to 7,000 meals and deliver approximately 1,200 meals the week of Thanksgiving. The traditional Thanksgiving meal will have all the trimmings, including roasted turkey, (real!) potatoes, gravy, stuffing, corn, dinner rolls and dessert.
The dinner is free thanks to the generosity of The College of St. Scholastica, donors and community supporters. The meals prepared for home delivery will be fully cooked and in individual serving containers.
How to access meals
There are two ways that individuals and families can access meals:
For those who are homebound in the Twin Ports region (Duluth/Superior, Two Harbors, Hermantown, Esko and Cloquet), they can request a meal for themselves as well as their caregiver. Individuals who need home delivery must call 218-723-6484 to reserve their meals. Delivery requests must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17. Due to the volume of requests, organizers ask that only those who are truly homebound request a meal. Teams will deliver approximately 1,200 meals on Thanksgiving morning.
Dining at the DECC
Dinner will be served from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 23, at the DECC (350 Harbor Drive, Duluth). There will be free DTA bus transportation; for more information, call 218-722-7283 or visit duluthtransit.com.
As always, any remaining food is rescued by Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank the day after Thanksgiving and is re-distributed to area agencies.
Ways to help: donations and volunteers
Community involvement is a necessary ingredient to make this dinner a success! Monetary donations go a long way to welcome anyone who wants to connect and celebrate this day. To become a community supporter, give online at css.edu/thanksgiving or mail a check to:
The College of St. Scholastica
Attn: Thanksgiving Buffet
1200 Kenwood Ave.
Duluth, MN 55811
Volunteers are needed and welcome! Shifts are available Monday through Thursday during the week of Thanksgiving. To explore volunteer positions and times and to register, visit css.edu/thanksgiving. Don’t be discouraged if positions are not available. Be sure to keep checking the volunteer link; people’s plans change and positions will likely open up.
Journalist coverage and interview opportunities
Journalists are invited to cover preparations at the DECC kitchen and are asked to contact event organizer Monica Hendrickson at 218-348-2268 prior to any interviews on-site. The best times for the most action are:
- Friday, Nov. 17, unloading of the product at the DECC (Door 9–Fitzgerald Hall), times are to be determined by the delivery window; likely around noon.
- Note: Due to the volume of the food being delivered, vendors may need to change the date and time to Thursday, Nov. 16. Monica will know by Wednesday, Nov. 15 if the date needs to change.
- Thanksgiving Week: Mornings are the busiest from 9:30 a.m. until noon at the DECC kitchen.
- Monday: Chopping veggies, peeling potatoes, cooking turkey and stuffing
- Tuesday: Slicing turkey, making cranberry cups and cooking potatoes
- NEW in 2023: We are going to fry turkeys for our lunch bags! Working with the Coast Guard, the 148th Fighter Wing and the Duluth Fire Department, we will either be at the DECC or at the Coast Guard Station. More details to come.
- Wednesday: Filling 3,000 containers! 1,500 containers are filled with the “hot” foods, and 1,500 containers are filled with the “cold” foods.
- Thursday: Door 9/Fitzgerald Hall at the DECC. The busiest times on Thanksgiving Day:
- 9–11 a.m., Fitzgerald Hall: Members of the 148th will be making bagged lunches for in-person diners to take home.
- 9–11 a.m., outside the DECC: Members of the 148th, UPS, and Mayo Clinic Ambulance will be packing their vehicles to deliver to homebound individuals.
- 11 a.m.: Doors open to the Lake Superior Ballroom. We can serve and seat over 500 people in 30 minutes or less.
- After 1:30 p.m., it slows down significantly in the dining room.