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.  In 2014, with a warmer day, we hosted 690 guests that were served by 112 employee volunteers and their families.  A beautiful warm Christmas in the 60's brought close to 600 guests and over 110 employee volunteers with their families together, along with toys for the children and coats, socks and goodies for the adults.

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


Volunteer Bill Burke chats with guests in 2015

Volunteers (and current students) Chloe Strickland and Alex Judge


For many families with children, a Christmas-morning routine involves getting up early, making a mad dash toward the presents and staying in new pajamas for hours before going, perhaps, over the river and through the woods.  For Chloe Strickland, however, a junior counseling and human-services major at The University of Scranton and a South Scranton resident, that routine has for years included a trip back to the University’s campus to help with an annual tradition of serving a free breakfast feast offering much-needed companionship for a couple of hours to those who may not have anyone else with whom to spend the holiday. Last year, in the greater Scranton area, 690 people showed up on the third floor of the DeNaples Center enjoyed the meal and friendly company. The University expects a similar or larger crowd this year as it once again extends the same invitation to the community. Strickland will be present with her mother, Sheila Strickland, a staff member in the University’s graduate school for the past nine years, and other members of her family, creating a tradition the family now would never miss. “To see so many people smile is very special,” Chloe Strickland said. The breakfast includes scrambled eggs, pancakes, potatoes, bagels, sausage, juice, coffee and more – all donated by Aramark. “It is open to anyone who wants to come,” said Patricia Vaccaro, director of the University Campus Ministries’ Center for Service and Social Justice, explaining the open-door, no-reservations-required policy. “We open this up to anyone who is alone. They might be homeless, jobless or just need company on the holiday.” Well before the first seating at 8 a.m. and for some time after the last seating at 10:30 a.m., hundreds of University employees also join guests as helpers, greeters and servers. The widespread support always impresses Vaccaro, but it’s far from the only day of the year she witnesses such an outpouring of love on campus.