Many of the actors are directly involved in various communal outreach activities in Southern California and New York.
The star-studded group included:
Anna Lynne McCord (“90210”, “Nip & Tuck”), Omar Epps (“House”), Paul Johansson (“One Tree Hill”), Holly Robinson Peete (“21 Jump St.”, “Hanging With Mr. Cooper”), Mekhi Phifer (“ER”, “Tuskegee Airmen”), Holt McCallany (“Lights Out”), Zach Roerig (“Vampire Diaries”) & Paget Brewster (“Criminal Minds”).
During the course of their visit, Dudi Roth, President of American Friends of Meir Panim and Goldie Sternbuch, Associate Director of Overseas Relations, explained how this once simple non-profit organization systematically mushroomed into a nationwide network of soup kitchens and outreach centers, which deliver both physical sustenance and fiscal support to thousands of economically challenged children and senior citizens on a daily basis. The stars observed first-hand how the attentive Meir Panim staff served delicious hot and nourishing meals to local citizens who entered during the mid-day lunch hour.
“C’mon, this doesn’t look like some of the dingy soup kitchens I’ve seen back home. This looks and feels like a real restaurant with warm and compassionate people,” remarked Anna Lynne McCord.
Holly Robinson Peete added, “Meir Panim is way ahead of America when it comes to dealing with poor people and offering outreach programs. This was a fascinating encounter.”
What impressed Paget Brewster was the emphasis on respecting one’s dignity. “Here were people from all walks of life and no one asked any questions or asked for money when they walked into the soup kitchen, which really does look like a restaurant,” said Paget. “The people who run the soup kitchen were just interested in trying to help the people who walked in the door to enjoy a meal and be treated in a dignified fashion.”