Several Oregon State University colleges and departments have united to pay for free Thanksgiving meals for students remaining in Corvallis for the holidays, by raising more than $5,000 in private funds in two days

An idea from College of Agricultural Sciences soils instructor James Cassidy linking the OSU Organic Grower’s Club and the “It’s On Us Corvallis” campaign, quickly became a university-wide collaboration to support students not traveling for Thanksgiving due to the pandemic. Corvallis restaurants Both Bomb’s Away Café and Tarntip Thai Cuisine restaurant will provide the meals.

The deadline for students to sign up is Tuesday, Nov. 24. For OSU students to participate, sign up at To donate:

Cassidy said organizers hope to incentivize students to minimize holiday travel  as a way to and help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, to care for students who are not traveling and have no other plans, and to support the local economy. The original goal was to serve 250 students, but more than that number have already signed up for the free dinner through social media.

“Many of the students who reserved a meal already reported this has helped them not go to their family which has helped reduce virus spread ‘and save Oregon’s grandmas,’” said Cassidy.

Dean Alan Sams, Reub Long dean and director of the College of Agricultural Sciences, is among several OSU leaders to support the plan.

“It’s a win win win for good health, our students and participating restaurants” Sams said. “It’s also noteworthy that it took just a few hours for many OSU deans and other leaders to contribute and exceed our goal. We will feed over 450 students, protect others and help the community.”

Participating units include the colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Science, Engineering, Pharmacy, Forestry, Business, the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost and University Relations and Marketing, among others

In a separate effort at OSU-Cascades, students may request online a customized box from the campus food pantry thanks to the efforts of the Associated Students of Cascades Campus.

~ Theresa Hogue