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Serving for St. Francis

Date: 2/22/2012

Video: Students volunteering at St. Francis Inn

Students Timothy Bauer, Zackeraya Elmarzouky, Kristine Myers, James Feeney, Guadalupe Ramos and Jennifer Toledo accompanied Campus Ministry staff members Aaron Malnick and Niquita Dietrich to prepare and serve food in the St. Francis Inn (soup kitchen) in the Kensington section of Philadelphia.

St. Francis Inn has been serving meals to impoverished individuals and families in Philadelphia since 1979. A breakfast is served three days a week, and a sit-down meal is served every day. In all, the Inn serves over 350 meals a day. "Our meals are unique because we serve them restaurant-style," explains the staff. "Our guests don't walk through a line to get their food. Our compassionate volunteers serve them at their tables."

The staff relies on the generosity of local grocery stores and businesses as well as churches and individuals to donate food. Volunteers, like the group from Alvernia, help to cook, serve meals, and clean.

"With the help and support of volunteers and benefactors we are able to serve our guests every day with a warm, nourishing meal in a caring and respectful setting."

In addition to the dine-in meals, St. Francis Inn also provides monthly food baskets for families and homebound seniors. A mixture of fresh and non-perishable foods supply regular sustenance to those unable to visit to the Inn. In addition to meals, the Inn supplies services like mail and phone usage to its patrons. 

  • History: Established as a private four-year liberal arts college in 1958, Alvernia celebrated its 50th year by being awarded university status in 2008.
  • Heritage: Founded by the Bernardine Sisters, a Catholic religious order, the university embraces the Franciscan core values of service, humility, collegiality, contemplation and peacemaking.
  • Motto: “To Learn, To Love, To Serve”
  • Campus: The main campus in Reading is 121 acres, with two satellite campuses in Philadelphia and Pottsville (Schuylkill County).
  • Location: Our residential campus is situated three miles from center-city Reading, in the scenic Blue Mountain area of Eastern Pennsylvania.
  • Enrollment: 3,000 students attend Alvernia including 1,500 traditional undergraduates, 600 continuing education students, and 780 graduate students. Over 77% of first-year students live on campus.
  • Faculty: Our professors are accomplished scholars, experts in their fields, and supportive mentors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Most classes are 20 students or fewer.
  • Athletics: NCAA Division III, member of the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Athletic Corporation and member of Eastern College Athletic Conference, 8 men’s and 10 women’s intercollegiate sports.