Though many are undoubtedly aware of Anaheim White House chef-owner Bruno Serato and his work with Orange County’s “motel children” and their families, I bet the scale of his generosity will surprise. In March, Serato’s non-profit Caterina’s Club served its millionth meal to a needy child. It’s a staggering number—but consider that 5,000 people are fed every week at seven O.C. locations and you begin to understand how the numbers add up.
Serato commemorated the milestone at the White House with some celebrity help, including Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino and Vicki Gunvalson of “Real Housewives of Orange County.” Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait even awarded him the key to the city. But the focus remained on the children and families, however, who were served pasta with marinara sauce, vegetables, slow-braised beef, and profiteroles.
Serato says, “When I started feeding the kids, I had no idea that that simple idea would become my life’s passion and that the cause would earn so much local, national and even international attention.” It hasn’t been easy—at one point, he mortgaged his own house to keep the charity going. And he works to move families from long-term motel residence to homes of their own. “With the continued support of our regular donors, sponsors and the general public, we hope to carry on our mission of feeding the kids and finding permanent housing for as many of them as possible.”