Dec 11, 2023 | John W. Coleman

The Open Door Christian Community at Drexel University, a ministry of Eastern PA’s Wesley Foundation of Philadelphia, feeds hungry students dinner every Wednesday during semesters. Now they are using funds raised to help food-insecure students stay nourished during the three-week winter break.

“We wanted to help students who aren’t going home for the break to have food when our campus ministry isn’t open to feed them,” said the Rev. Diana Esposito, Open Door director. Most are international students with no option to go home and no U.S. host family to visit.

Rev. Diana Esposito

She was able to help raise enough donations in time for the Open Door’s final 2023 dinner on Wednesday, December 13, to distribute $100 gift cards that will help feed 20 students in 16 households. The cards can be used at nearby grocery stores. The next campus dinner will be January 10.

In addition, several families have offered to host students for home-cooked meals during the break, an opportunity Esposito is trying to coordinate.  

“My family and I have been ‘adopting’ a family for Christmas for more than 15 years,” said Esposito, “so this cross-over of caring for food-insecure students who lack a family to host them is a special blessing. I never thought we would raise the money so quickly. But God inspired hearts, and we were able to provide 20 students with the gift of food this season.”

Drexel students benefit from Open Door campus ministry

Here are comments from three students who benefit from the United Methodist-supported Open Door campus ministry:

“Open Door’s program at Drexel has been a total lifesaver for me. Getting free food every week is like a major stress relief on my wallet. Plus, it’s cool because it brings everyone together. It’s more than just about the food. It’s like this awesome support system that makes college life way better.”
–Edison, a sophomore

“Open Door provides a safe space to make friends, relax during stressful semesters, and enjoy a great home cooked meal every week. Through my time at Drexel, Open Door has been extremely helpful in easing the load of preparing meals as well as helping me feel like I am part of a larger community!”
— Chris, junior

“I have been with Open Door since 2019, right when I started at Drexel. Five years later, I am serving as the President of Open Door. Throughout my time at Drexel, I have had a lot of ups and downs but Open Door has always been there to support and guide me in every step of the way. I am grateful to be a part of such a supportive community and hope to bring more positive changes in any way I can.”  
— Pratik, senior

The Wesley Foundation of Philadelphia is an Advance Special project supported by EPA donations. Learn more about this vital campus ministry that not only connects and serves many Drexel students, but also engages many of them in creative outreach ministries. Learn more at DragonLink. Learn how you can help. Contact Esposito at