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Hill House's dining hall will be closed all day from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1. Credit: Mona Lee

Many of Penn’s dining halls, markets, and cafes are closed during Thanksgiving break. But this year, two dining halls will be open on Sunday, Dec. 1, an increase from past years when only one dining hall was open on the Sunday of Thanksgiving break.

1920 Commons and Lauder College House will be serving dinner on Dec. 1. The decision to increase the number of open dining halls is based on recent data, Director of Business and Hospitality Services for Penn Dining Pam Lampitt said, which revealed that more students came back earlier this year during fall break than in previous years.

Dining halls that use swipes, including the Cafe at McClelland, Lauder College House, Hill House, Kings Court English House, Falk Dining Commons in Steinhardt Hall, and Commons, will be closed all day from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1. In terms of retail dining at Penn, Houston Market will be closed from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1. 

Most cafes, including The Market Cafe, Joe’s Cafe, Accenture Cafe, Pret a Manger, and the MBA Cafe, will be closed from Thursday to Sunday as well. Gourmet Grocer and Starbucks will be closed from Thursday to Saturday, but they will be open for select hours on Sunday. All the dining hours of operations are available on Penn Dining’s website. Starting Monday Dec. 2, all dining hours will resume as usual. 

For many international and West Coast students, Thanksgiving with family might be an unlikely possibility. Barbara Lea-Kruger, Penn Business Services Director of Communications and External Relations, said Penn Dining hopes to make the experience of Thanksgiving at home as authentic as possible by providing specially catered meals to students who stay on campus. 

“For students who stay on campus, Penn College Houses and Academic Services does Thanksgiving meals," Lea-Kruger said. "There are a lot of people who stay on campus that are providing students with other ways to celebrate the holidays if they are not with their families.” 

Penn Dining has recently tackled the issue of properly supporting highly aided students during breaks. Student Registration & Financial Services is giving highly aided students debit cards to cover the cost of meal purchases over Thanksgiving break. 

Lampitt acknowledged the difficulties of approaching dining for highly aided students during Thanksgiving break.  

“I was just on a phone call on Friday with all the Ivies and IvyPlus schools about food insecurity and what each university does, and there’s nothing consistent about what each university does," Lampitt said. "That's because every university, location, and structure is so different.” 

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