By Paul Kurtz
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Several hundred members of the area hospitality industry gathered today at a South Philadelphia church to hear a recruiting pitch of sorts from an organization that helps some of the region’s most vulnerable people.
These giants of the local hotel and restaurant industry sat at tables and ate the same meals that are served four times a week to the homeless and the hungry at Broad Street Ministry.
Founder Bill Golderer (at center of photo below) wanted to show his audience how he takes it to the next level.
“Three courses, with as close as we can get to the restaurant experience. It’s just a different paypoint — it’s free,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “The idea is that if you are received with dignity and respect, you might be willing to believe that you would have a future that’s different from your present circumstances.”
The ministry is on pace to serve 53,000 meals this year.
But Golderer wants to do more. He’s doing it with help from people such as Steve Cook (at right in photo), co-owner of several restaurants and a member of the ministry’s advisory board.
“Our job is to get the word out to our friends and colleagues and see how we can connect them to this mission and how they can help, whether it’s through donation or service,” Cook says.