Community Christmas Day Breakfast

Beginning in 2009, The University of Scranton began hosting a Christmas Day Breakfast as our gift to the greater Scranton Community.  The free breakfast was provided to anyone who didn't wish to spend the morning alone and to share a meal with others.  In 2009, about 100 guests attended.  2010 brought us over 250 people and in 2011, we increased our guest attendance to more than 450. In 2012, we served 522 guests and had more than 125 volunteers comprised of University of Scranton employees and their families.  2013 brought a cold, wintery start in which were able to provide breakfat and company to 568 people, along with a gently used coat, hat and glove giveaway.  Over 150 volunteers comprised of University of Scranton employees and their families assisted.

The breakfast is coordinated by The Center for Service & Social Justice and sponsored by Aramark food service.

Christmas breakfast at

University of Scranton

meets all kinds of needs

By David Falchek (Staff Writer)

Published: December 26, 2011

At 6 a.m. on Christmas Day, members of the Wiencek family left their Reading home and headed north to Scranton to serve a holiday breakfast to people who would otherwise be alone.

Michael Wiencek wanted his family to take part in the University of Scranton Christmas Breakfast, an important part of his college experience. The senior's parents, Tony and Cathie, brothers, Anthony and Christopher, and his 92-year-old grandmother, Jane, were among those who volunteered to serve breakfast to about to 500 people Sunday morning at the DeNaples Center.

Along with 80 volunteers from the university community, the Wienceks gave gifts to children, company to the lonely and food to everyone who came through the door.

"This is overwhelming. It fills your heart and puts things in perspective," said Cathie Wiencek. "There aren't words that describe the feeling of humility, satisfaction and gratitude."

Attendees came to fulfill all kinds of needs.

There was food donated by school concessionaire Aramark. Every table included homemade Christmas cards from students of St. Mary of Mount Carmel School in Dunmore. Toys and coats donated by students, university employees and their families were available.

Cindi Egan needed nothing more than company. She has siblings in the area, but they have plans with their own families. So she and friends went to the breakfast and got more than a meal.

"So much food, but also so much good feelings from everyone here," she said. "It's uplifting."

In the third year for the event, Patricia Vaccaro, director of the university community outreach office, said she had no problem getting volunteers.

"This is the best thing you can do for Christmas," Ms. Vaccaro said.

The Wiencek family agreed. They headed back home to exchange gifts and enjoyed a low-key family dinner to top off one of their most memorable Christmases - one spent with people they didn't know.

"We hear about all the problems in the world, but people are basically good," Mrs. Wiencek said. "This is what the Jesuits teach, that we always ask ourselves what we can do to help others."

Contact the writer: dfalchek@timesshamrock.com