Welcome to CollegeTown!

This is a place for college students from Philadelphia and local areas to connect! If you're from Arcadia University, Antonelli Institute Art & Photography, Chestnut Hill College, Manor College, Montgomery County Community College, Penn State Abington, or Temple Ambler, your school is here! If you are not, what are you waiting for? Get your school involved with us!!

Annual Empty Bowl Dinner Back at CHC

Kaitlin Leonard ‘14
(From the Chestnut Hill College Griffin, November 2010)

CHC student DJ Lynch Serves Soup (Photo by Ashley Pavone, CHC '11)
     The Empty Bowl Dinner returns to the College Thursday, Nov. 18, providing students the opportunity to lend a helping hand as Thanksgiving, the season for giving, approaches.  One of the College’s most anticipated and charitable events, The Empty Bowl Dinner was originally held at Arcadia University. Twelve years ago, the event made its way to Chestnut Hill developing quite a following.  Each year profits increase; last year it reached $14,000.
Benefitters of the Dinner

The Empty Bowl Dinner is sponsored by Northwest Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (NPIHN), an organization that offers it’s services to those in need. NPIHN is mainly a volunteer-based network that provides housing, food, counseling and tutoring to families in need. Everything at the Empty Bowl Dinner has been donated by the community. The ceramic bowls are made by the community, the soup is donated by local restaurants (each are asked to donate at least 5 gallons), and Chartwells donates the bread and desserts. Students are asked to make a nominal contribution of $5 (admission is $15 for everyone else).

CHC's Coordinator
Sister Mindy Welding, Director of Campus Ministry, enjoys working the Empty Bowl Dinner every season and enjoys seeing alumni come out to help.  “Throughout the years students have been more and more enthusiastic working the Empty Bowl,” Welding says.  “Even if you don’t want to work the EmptyBowl, Come!” This is Welding’s fifth year working the event and she is most proud of watching how students will go even further than the Empty Bowl Dinner in helping those in need, such as volunteering in children’s hospitals and at shelters.

NPIHN's Coordinator

     Executive Director of NPIHN Rachel Falkove has been participating in the Empty Bowl Dinner at the College since the beginning; NPIHN makes an announcement to the community and people con-
tribute.  “Everybody does a little bit and can make a difference,” Falkove says.
     Schools and Girl Scout Troops help with the pottery and Chartwells Dining Service helps with beverages and desserts. “I could not have done this without Chestnut Hill’s students, and the families
Bowls Made by Local Schools (Photo by Ashley Pavone, CHC '11)
that come back to help.”  When asked about how much work it takes to actually fund and run the Empty Bowl, Falkove said, “Every year it seems like a Miracle.” Time always seems to be an issue and to keep things in order, board members run to pick up soup.  “Though one of my favorite parts is seeing all the volunteers again, the families that we’ve helped out in the past come back and volunteer and, of course, the soup!”
Attendance Numbers Increase Every Year

More and more students each year are becoming a bigger part of the Empty Bowl Dinner, “It opened up a new way of doing charitable work,” said Mary Kate Whalen ’13, a student at the College who worked the Empty Bowl last year. “I had a chance to ladle the soup, it was a lot of fun and the soup was fantastic.”  Not only are students getting a chance to help the community, but it seems they are walking away with something so much more meaningful.  “I’m all for helping your own community,” said Whalen.  “I’m now, through our work study program, a community liaison. We volunteer at the blood drive and are going to participate in the Alzheimer’s walk that is coming up soon.”  Whalen thanks the Empty Bowl for getting her started on the right path of helping those in need.

The Best Part of Fall Semester

     It’s clear that the Empty Bowl dinner has developed quite a following over the years.  With the hopes that many more attend the dinner this year, the NPIHN as well as the College wish to raise even more money for those in need. Considering its high reputation with the volunteers, as well as the students, the turn out should be just as anticipated, if not better.  Falkove agrees and is quite pleased with how successful and quick the Empty Bowl has developed a name for itself in the community.  “Now I know it’s really fall because it’s time for an Empty Bowl dinner,” Falkove said.

For more information, click here.


  1. This is a great way to help the community. Makes me happy to see students helping and really enjoying the time.
    And the bowls are really cool. Wish I could have made some for the event.

  2. This is such a great event to be a part of. I look forward to going next year. I wasn't able to this year because of cash shortage. It looks like so much fun though.

  3. This is such a fun event. I went last year and had an awesome time. It was so nice to see everyone laughing and having a great time. Can't wait to go next year!

  4. One of the best events on campus