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Professor offers to cook Thanksgiving meal for students alone on holiday

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A college professor in Iowa went viral online after she offered Thanksgiving meals to any kids who can’t go home for the holidays because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“My email offer to make a few extra Thanksgiving meals would probably have been greeted by an – ‘oh that’s nice’ fleeting thought last year,” Liz Pearce, a communications professor at the University of Iowa, told Fox News. “This year, I think as we’ve socially distanced, we’ve psychologically distanced and that’s why my email went viral. Instead of a simple gesture of a meal, it was seen as a moment of connection in our current disconnected world.”

Liz Pearce, a communications professor at the University of Iowa, went viral online after she offered Thanksgiving meals to any kids who can’t go home for the holidays because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Liz Pearce)

Liz Pearce, a communications professor at the University of Iowa, went viral online after she offered Thanksgiving meals to any kids who can’t go home for the holidays because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Liz Pearce)

One of her students, Leah Blask, posted a screenshot of the email on Twitter.

“My professor is absolutely too pure for this world,” she captioned the post.

The tweet had more than 900,000 likes and 78,000 retweets on Monday evening.

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Pearce said she is making turkey, stuffing, peas, apple pie and vegan options.

 “My kids are very happy to help me do this. Two of them are going to school online and my oldest daughter is working remotely at an internship.  I think we all view this as a moment of connection with students who may feel alone, or sad because they aren’t with their family.  It’s an acknowledgment that we’re all in this together.”

Liz Pearce said she is making turkey, stuffing, peas, apple pie and vegan options. So far only three people have signed up, but she told Fox News she is extending the offer to all the majors -- 600 students -- in the department.  (Liz Pearce)

Liz Pearce said she is making turkey, stuffing, peas, apple pie and vegan options. So far only three people have signed up, but she told Fox News she is extending the offer to all the majors — 600 students — in the department.  (Liz Pearce)

So far only three people have signed up, but she told Fox News she is extending the offer to all the majors — 600 students — in the department.  

“I had no idea how many would sign up.  I’m just going to wait and my kids and I will do a big shop on Wednesday.”

Pearce told Fox News she is ready to help feed as many students as she can.

“Since it went viral, the only thing that changed was me – it made me realize just how hungry people are, not for food but for a bit of good news. It showed me how raw and vulnerable we all are.”

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