Thanksgiving Dress Down Challenge

As we approach this Thanksgiving season, we remember that a grateful heart is a joyful heart. In the city of Detroit, 48 percent of residents lack access to an affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate supply of food. Nationwide, 48% of college students are food insecure at some point during their enrollment and a 2018 survey at the University indicated similar rates of food insecurity among students.

The University community has been challenged with a department fundraising contest over the next several weeks. All proceeds will go to support food security initiatives here at Detroit Mercy, including Campus Kitchen and H2O Student Pantry. This contest is co-sponsored by the Human Resources Department and Metz Dining Services.

Contest rules:

  1. Special dress down days will be allowed on the following dates:
  • Thursday, Nov. 8
  • Friday, Nov. 9
  • Thursday, Nov. 15
  • Friday, Nov. 16
  • Monday, Nov. 19
  • Tuesday, Nov. 20
  • Wednesday, Nov. 21
  • Thursday, Nov. 29
  • Friday, Nov. 30
  • Thursday, Dec. 6
  • Friday, Dec. 7
  1. Participating departments are free to determine how much of a donation they wish to charge colleagues to dress down. Interested employees should discuss department participation with their supervisors. Supervisors have the discretion to substitute dates for those listed if appropriate in their area. For those areas where employees are required to wear uniforms, supervisors can define what constitutes acceptable dress down apparel.
  2. All proceeds should be delivered to the Human Resources Department on a weekly basis.
  3. The winning department will be announced on Monday, Dec. 10.
  4. As a reward, Metz will donate food trays to the winning department’s holiday celebration.

Campus Kitchen at Detroit Mercy (CK)& is a student-powered food justice program. As part of the Institute for Leadership & Service, CK’s mission is to develop student leaders through thoughtful engagement with community-led initiatives that promote a more equitable and sustainable food system. By coordinating multiple service opportunities each week, CK promotes healthy food access for kids and seniors in northwest Detroit, reduces food waste in the cafeteria and in the community, and supports urban agriculture.

Happy, Healthy, Organizing-Change (H2O) is a new organization within the Institute of Leadership & Service. H2O’s goal is to increase the standard of living of students. H2O has created a free student food pantry located in room 41 of Reno Hall. The Student Food Pantry opens soon and will set up bi-weekly food distribution to students who have applied for the program.

Contact HR at if you have any questions. If you would like additional information about Campus Kitchen, contact staff coordinator Clara Gamalski at For additional information about H2O Pantry, contact Dohna Dudley at