Charlton Heston delivered his rendition of the Christmas story along with scoops of corn and mashed potatoes at the Los Angeles Mission.
"It's a good feeling to put a meal in some guy's stomach who may not have had a meal," said the actor who portrayed Moses in the 1956 movie "The Ten Commandments."
About 5,000 turkey and ham dinners were served on Christmas Eve.
Heston sat on stage reading the story of Jesus' birth to a handful of people waiting for a meal.
Heston said he would like to wish "a happy Christmas and a prosperous to New Year" to all, even though "it's a thin bet this year."
Asked to elaborate, the 73-year-old Academy Award-winning actor put his hand dramatically on the arm of a reporter, leaned in close and said: "Saddam Hussein, Africa, China. Should I go on?"