Chabad-Lubavitch of California's Mobile Kitchen Program took over the Hard Rock Café at Universal Studios Thursday afternoon so that 600 people who otherwise wouldn't have one could enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

Coordinated by Sharing the Warmth, an initiative of the Mobile Kitchen Program, the effort entailed months of planning, the dedication of hundreds of Los Angeles-area volunteers and the goodwill of the Hard Rock, which has partnered with Chabad-Lubavitch for similar events in the past.

According to Rabbi Mendel Cohen, director of Share the Warmth, half a dozen buses transported people from centers throughout the city; many people also walked in after hearing of the feast through advertisements and word of mouth. He stressed that the program was unique in that it provide strictly kosher food – a plus to the many impoverished members of the Jewish community who showed up to eat – and that special emphasis was placed on families and single mothers with young children.

"We served a typical Thanksgiving menu," said Cohen, who coordinated a kosher food distribution at S. Diego's Qualcomm Stadium last month for evacuees from Southern California's recent wildfires. "We had yams, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and tons of turkey."

Martin Fromer, a 65-year-old businessman from Long Beach, Calif., said that he never passes up on an opportunity to help out those less fortunate. What appealed to him about the Thanksgiving event was the sheer magnitude of the effort.

"I never realized how many unfortunate people there are out there who need a hug and a meal," said Fromer. "It was just such a beautiful sharing of the warmth."

Cohen said that besides providing food, organizers also wanted to show their guests a good time. The Hard Rock at Universal Studios was the perfect fit.

"A lot of people had of course never been to the Hard Rock, much less to Universal Stuidos," said Cohen. "We also had balloons and a clown, and a raffle."

Before the event, the rabbi emphasized that the program benefited the volunteers, as well.

"Our goal is to share the warmth with as many people as possible by bringing volunteers together to feed those less fortunate," he said in a statement provided by Chabad-Lubavitch of the West Coast. "The ability to help our fellow man is the greatest strength mankind has.

"There's no greater joy than seeing people rise to the occasion and lend a hand to someone who's struggling."