Free Hot Meals for the Needy Program Reboots to Long Line, Happy Smiles

Program Serves Up Free Hot Meals Once AgainProgram Serves Up Free Hot Meals Once AgainProgram Serves Up Free Hot Meals Once AgainProgram Serves Up Free Hot Meals Once AgainProgram Serves Up Free Hot Meals Once AgainProgram Serves Up Free Hot Meals Once AgainProgram Serves Up Free Hot Meals Once AgainProgram Serves Up Free Hot Meals Once AgainProgram Serves Up Free Hot Meals Once AgainProgram Serves Up Free Hot Meals Once AgainProgram Serves Up Free Hot Meals Once AgainProgram Serves Up Free Hot Meals Once Again

5:07 am | June 28, 2018


After five months out of action, the privately-funded Pasadena Hot Meals program served up tasty hot dinners Wednesday night to the homeless and needy in Northwest Pasadena, served up by a small platoon of community leaders who donned aprons and gloves to help.

Founded by Robin Salzer, owner of Robin’s Wood Fire BBQ and Grill in East Pasadena, and Walter Jackson, another Pasadena businessman, the Hot Meal Program has provided more than 126,000 free meals for low-income and homeless residents since its inception in 2010.

Jackson passed away in 2016. Salzer has continued their mission.

“One night of hot meals isn’t enough to stem the tide of hunger but it helps,” Salzer says.

The program, which he personally funds and oversees, was sidelined during construction work at the Jackie Robinson at 1020 North Fair Oaks Avenue.

“They redid the kitchen and some of the community center so we had to go dark for five months because of the remodeling,” Salzer explained. “We’re going to do our ‘re-grand opening.’”

The program evolved from a simple vision to help neighbors in need into a weekly event that served balanced meals to 100 to 200 hungry individuals at the Jackie Robinson Center.

Salzer earlier called on community members to serve on the grill and the serving line, or simply spread the fellowship and friendship that he said “redefines the true meaning of the Pasadena Way.”

“It is my opinion that we all have a moral and ethical responsibility to make Pasadena the best city that it can be,” Salzer said.