IU is starting classes a week earlier in 2012 than in previous years but is also creating a fall break and extended Thanksgiving break.
Because of orders to bring all troops home before the end of the year, some soldiers were able to spend Thanksgiving with their families.
While holidays increase need for food banks, non-profit administrators emphasize that hunger is a year-round problem.
A typical Thanksgiving meal is expected to cost about 8 percent more because of higher turkey prices.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, 1 in 4 Americans are currently on a government supported feeding program.
For decades, Black Friday has been the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. But this year, Thanksgiving may steal some of the sales spotlight.