BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – There is a true simplicity with which Lisa Vanderpump talks about her purpose: she can, so she does.
“We’re working people. It’s not a lot of effort for us to cook a meal early but it means a lot to the people who are needy,” Vanderpump said.
Vanderpump rose to fame after becoming a part of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in 2010, but she has been a restaurateur – and helping the homeless – long before that. For the last 13 years, every Monday morning, her restaurant Villa Blanca in Beverly Hills makes food for the homeless. They give it to a local church for weekly distribution. These aren’t leftovers, but new fresh hot meals.
MORE ENTERTAINMENT STORIES:
- "Mad About You" Cast Gives Set Tour Ahead of Reboot
- Judy Garland's Close Friend Reflects on Working With Star
- What Goes Into Making a SAG Awards Statue?
“We bring our staff in early and create nourishing nutritious dishes that are easy to eat,” she said.
Villa Blanca is one of her four restaurants in L.A. She and her husband have been in the restaurant business for more than 30 years, starting back in London. With their good fortune, they have always felt a social responsibility. Even before homelessness became an epidemic in L.A., but now her cause is as needed as ever.
“The homeless situation here is getting worse so this is an important part of our business,” Vanderpump said.
She has a long list of celebrity supporters of her restaurant, Nicole Kidman came in for dinner right after our interview, and locals who regularly pour in because they know they are supporting a restaurant that supports the community. This is an important part of Vanderpump’s life as a celebrity. She has gone out and served the food herself.
“Many years ago everyone wears a name badge at the church and they said to address the people who come for food by their name because it may be the only time that people address them by their name that week,” Vanderpump said.
Yes, she has millions of fans on social media – fans of her restaurants, her animal activism, and her brand of philanthropy.
If there is one thing she hopes her fans and followers learn from her:
“If everyone does a little it really does help,” Vanderpump said.
Sounds simple, she says, and yes, it really is.