Reporting Michele Gile
ANAHEIM (CBS) — About 1,000 families are living in old motels in the heart of Orange County, but one Anaheim restaurant owner is making sure that kids from those families are at least getting good, hot meals.
“Spaghetti with marinara is their favorite,” said Chef Bruno Serato, talking about his kids – hundreds of them – who are guaranteed delicious dinners every night at the Boys & Girl’s Club, because of his generosity.
“There are some there for three months. We were doing a lot more pasta than normal, because they were starving. They don’t have breakfast, they don’t have lunch for school,” Serato said.
Some of the low-income children live in motels close to Serato’s White House Italian Restaurant.
Seven years ago, at the urging of his mother, Caterina, Serato began cooking for the kids, so they would not go to bed hungry. Now 330,000 meals later Caterina’s Club is going strong.
“When I go to the motel area sometimes, I can see. I can see the troubled people living in the area. They care to a point for the kids. If you’re a drug dealer or a drug addict, that is your priority, not your kids,” Serato said.
Several times a month, he is able to personally deliver his culinary creation to the Boys & Girl’s Club.
“I tell my mom that I eat yummy pasta,” one girl said with a smile.
Serato is a finalist for a CNN Heroes award. If he wins, he will earn $250,000 for Caterina’s Club.
“Here are my other kids eating my own pasta, the way my mother taught me to do. It cannot be better than that. I love them, every second of it.”