Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

California chef fighting childhood hunger serves 3 millionth meal

It all started 14 years ago, when Chef Bruno Serato and his mother, Caterina, met a first grader whose dinner consisted of just potato chips.

Serato owns the Anaheim White House restaurant in Anaheim, California, and Caterina told him to make a plate of his homemade pasta for the child. Wanting to help other underserved kids facing food insecurity, Serato founded a nonprofit, Caterina's Club, with the goal of feeding as many hungry kids as possible. Today, there are 80 Caterina's Club locations in Orange and Los Angeles counties, serving more than 25,025 pasta dinners every week. "When I see all the kids laughing and eating pasta, it makes my heart full," Serato said.

On Thursday, Serato served his nonprofit's three millionth meal, with a special guest on hand: Billy Saldana, one of the first kids to dine through Caterina's Club. Saldana helped dish out food to the kids, and remembered what it was like when he first met Serato. "I didn't even know what pasta was," he said. Caterina's Club also helps families living in motels find permanent housing, and teaches at-risk teens skills for jobs in the hospitality industry. "I am so grateful for all the volunteers who come out and help every day," Serato said. "Without them, none of this would be possible."