Saturday, November 26, 2011

California chef feeds hungry children

updated 3:34 PM EST, Thu November 24, 2011

Since 2005, Bruno Serato has been serving up free pasta dinners to children, many of whom are poor and live in motels with their families.

Serato is an Italian chef and the founder of Caterina's Club, a nonprofit that provides dinner seven days a week to more than 300 children at the Boys & Girls Club in Anaheim, California. CNN asked Serato for his thoughts on being chosen as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2011.

CNN: Where were you when you got the call that you'd been selected as a top 10 CNN Hero?

Bruno Serato: I was home, getting ready to go to work after talking to my mom in Italy over Skype.

I can't express the feelings I had at that moment. I was so happy. I was in tears. I wanted to scream like Tarzan! It was amazing news.

CNN: What do you hope this recognition will mean to Caterina's Club?

Serato: This gives me hope that I can make Caterina's Club a leader in resolving children's hunger in America.

I do believe that, all together, we can make a big difference. If restaurants and chefs across America worked with their local Boys & Girls Clubs and followed our program, we could feed millions of children.

I feel like I'm a voice on this Earth and my mission is to tell people: "Let's step forward. Don't just talk about it. Do something about it." We can make this a better place to be and fight the poverty in our country.

CNN: How will you use the $50,000 award that you receive for being selected as a top 10 CNN Hero?

Serato: It will help me to keep doing what I do and serve more children in need. I also hope to travel to promote the program and make more people aware of our national "motel kids" problem.

CNN: What do you want people to know most about your work?

Serato: In America, in our own backyards, we have kids who go to bed hungry. If we do something about it, we will have no hungry children in America.

If you give up one cup of coffee a day, you can feed 10 kids. One bag of pasta costs a few dollars, and that can serve 10 kids.

If I can feed more than 300 kids alone, all together we can feed millions.


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