Pamela Anderson helps promote Phoenix jail's all-vegetarian meals

Pamela Anderson helps promote Phoenix jail's all-vegetarian meals

April 15th, 2015 by Associated Press in Breaking News

Actress Pamela Anderson, right, serves the first all-vegetarian meal to inmates at the Maricopa County Jail, making it the first jail in the country to go entirely vegetarian, Wednesday, April 15, 2015, in Phoenix.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

PHOENIX -- Some inmates at the Maricopa County Jail did a double-take after seeing actress Pamela Anderson serving their lunches.

The former "Baywatch" star was in town Wednesday to help promote Sheriff Joe Arpaio's all-vegetarian meal program.

Arpaio says cutting meat from the meals served to the more than 8,000 inmates has saved an estimated $200,000 per year. The jail has been serving vegetarian meals for 16 months now.

Inmates are served a peanut butter sandwich with oranges and some crackers for brunch and a hot meal comprised of different vegetable and soy dishes for dinner.

Anderson is a longtime vegan and a spokeswoman for the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The group came under fire for its association with Arpaio, who has long faced criticism that he unfairly targets minorities for law enforcement.

She hopes the meal initiative stands as a model for prisons and jails across the country.