Our past CCDS students — a.k.a. “dinner conversationalists” — are from hometowns as far west as California to right here in our own Bennington neighborhood.  Their personal family backgrounds are international and diverse which will make both the food experience and dinner conversation incredibly flavorful and rich!!

Each shared these thoughts when asked the question…


Kora Andrew – Salem, NY (First Year)

“Family dinner to me is a special (and sometimes rare) time for my family to talk about things that are going on in our busy lives.  My family has very different work schedules and so family dinner is not always possible. Once a week and on weekends all of our schedules open up to allow us to finally all be together. Our family dinners may not be ideal, but we make time for them in our busy lives.  It’s not always easy or convenient to plan in time for famioy meals, but they are imperative to a happy and healthy family.

Claudia Babajew – Brooklyn, NY (First Year)

“Family dinners are about laughter, good communication, good food, and uniting people closer.  I find that when I eat dinner with my family, I not only feel happy but I get to know how they are feeling and how their day was.”

Hershey Canta – Los Angeles, CA (Junior)

“Family dinner means a lot to me.  It is the time when all of the family members in a household gather together to eat dinner and share stories about school, work, sports, friends, etc.  Family dinner doesn’t need to be formal or extravagant.  It just needs to be simple, as long as the whole family eats together and enjoy each other’s company.”

Mai Deo – Manchester, NH (Sophomore)

“It’s a time when family comes together to share their thoughts and have a bonding experience.  To me, that means that the house hold is more balanced.  It’s a time that you know your family cares and you can have a great just by talking and eating.”

Raina Gardner – Newport, NH (First Year)

“The words family dinner conjure up hundreds of images of myself and my family sharing meals throughout my life.  Family dinners have been a regular occurrence as I’ve grown up and I am incredibly grateful that I was brought up in a household that prioritizes this time.”

Amanda Glick – New York (Sophomore)

“Family dinner means that at the end of the day you have your support system to talk to, cheer up anyone who is down, and have a good time with everyone.  I feel that everyone should have an opportunity to build a tight bond with their family over dinner.”

Chris Grosheim – Long Island, NY (First Year)

“I think making time to be with your family is important.  Having a routine thing like a family meal makes you stop and see what life is about. During your life you create other families, friends, college people, people from your job and it is important to share a “family” meal with them, too…”

Desiree Guaraldi – Scarboro, VT (First Year)

“I think that eating with your family is very important because it allows you to communicate with them about things that are happening in the world and in your life. I was brought up having dinner with my family every night and we had to wait until everyone was a the dinner table before we started eating…”

Hannah Keyes – Arlington, VT (Sophomore)

“A family dinner to me is very different from my parents.  They would rather just eat to eat and I really like to be all together.  We all get together some of the time and we all naturally laugh and have fun just being together, but I would love for us every night to get together and make it a regular thing.  I love my family so it’s really important for me to be able to spend my time with them as much as possible.”

Angelina Rodriguez – Brooklyn, NY (First Year)

“The dinners show respect within your family because you all are gathered together.  Family dinners are simply taking time to enjoy with your family. I believe family dinners show how families are close and shows more than respect but closeness and love.”

Cindyline Sevilla – Los Angeles, CA (First Year/Junior)

“After a long day of school and work, I feel like a family dinner could be a good source of communication and to develop and continue to build the chemistry with your family.  It could lead a strong relationship among the family and better understanding of each other.  Food is usually represented as pleasure and nourishment – pleasure to be with your loved ones and nourishment to express the love and happiness during dinner time…”

Courtney Shaver – Schenectady, NY (Sophomore)

“Family dinner means taking time out of your busy day to sit down and enjoy your family’s presence.  It’s getting together and preparing a meal that is nutritious and delicious. To me the most important part about family dinners is connecting with your family and taking time out of your busy day to spend time with them.”

Dashawn Shelton – Brooklyn, NY (First Year)

“…Family dinner is extremely important in the upbringing of children and the structure of a healthy family. You can speak to your family about any problems you may have went through during the day or even something positive that happened…”

Molly Thompson – Bennington, VT (Sophomore)

“A family dinner means to me that the entire family meaning all of the siblings within the household, as well as both parents of the household are sitting down together eating their dinner.  It is also a time where families have ‘togetherness’ getting along and being together as a whole.  They also help each other out with preparation, and clean up as well…”

Will Wohltjen – Scarboro, ME (Junior)

“…bringing the family together and interacting with one another.  It’s helpful to learn about one another’s day and to catch up with my family.  They are important to me because it’s the only time that my whole family is together at once.  It’s a comforting feeling being surrounded by the people you care about while sitting down to a home cooked meal.”