Volunteers wearing Santa hats serve food from trays.
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Christmas Day at Pitt expands to better meet community need

  • University News
  • Community Impact
  • Our City/Our Campus

Pitt’s annual Christmas Day at Pitt service event is back and bigger than ever for its 17th year.

The event brings together the University of Pittsburgh community to serve a holiday meal to members of the city and region who may not have other opportunities to celebrate this season. Volunteers from Pitt also help distribute winter gear and presents for neighbors during the festivities.

More than 400 people will volunteer for this year’s event—twice as many as in 2021. One hundred and fifty volunteers will help host a meal for 1,000 people at The Eatery at Towers at 3990 Fifth Ave. on Dec. 25. All guests will receive a holiday meal, gifts for children and winter accessories for adults. Another 150 volunteers from Pitt Athletics will help wrap gifts that will be given to children in attendance.

In addition to those efforts, another 1,500 meals will be distributed to Pitt Community Engagement Center neighborhood partners in Homewood, the Hill District and Hazelwood. 100 more volunteers will help package those meals ahead of distribution.

“I’m thrilled at the early energy we’ve had for our Christmas Day meal,” said Jamilah Ducar, executive director of the engaged campus at the University of Pittsburgh. “Pitt Dining and Chartwells have been amazing partners in helping us reimagine how we can get meals out to our neighbors for the holiday. The expanded strategy of an on-campus component and pre-packaged and distributed meals lets us stretch out or efforts and get even more volunteers and partners involved.”

The sit-down meals will be available at The Eatery from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Christmas. Meals will be to-go only from 1:30-2:30 p.m., or until meals run out. Guests must arrive before 1:30 p.m. to be seated.

Finally, in a first-ever holiday partnership with Pitt, the Coats 4 Care Coalition will provide coat distribution to guests. Other partners in the initiative include the Urban League Young Professionals of Greater Pittsburgh, Color Me Urban, The Academia Society and True T PGH.


— Jared Stonesifer