Sir Bruno Serato has announced that he will expand the number of “motel” children he feeds each night to 1,650 as he begins serving the underprivileged youth of Brea, Yorba Linda and Placentia later in the month. Caterina’s Club, the nonprofit he founded in honor of his mother to feed the children whose poor, working class parents are relegated to living in cheap, crime-filled motels, also feeds those living in Anaheim, Tustin, Stanton, Buena Park, Orange, Santa Ana and Garden Grove. The program is facilitated through a partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs.
“The introduction of Caterina’s Club in Brea, Yorba Linda and Placentia takes place on what would have been my mother’s 91st birthday on September 22,” said Serato, who prepares the pasta dishes each night at his Italian steakhouse, Anaheim White House. “North Orange County holds a special place in my heart. The very first job I ever landed upon my arrival in the U.S. was in Brea and I made my first home in Placentia.”
Caterina’s Club was started in 2005 after a visit by Serato and his mother to a local Boys & Girls Club. There, she saw a 7-year-old boy eating a bag of potato chips and when she learned that the snack was all he had for dinner, she instructed her son to head back to the restaurant and feed the children pasta. He has fed them each evening since.
When the program was at risk of extinction during the collapse of the economy, Serato mortgaged his home to keep it going. But the issue of hunger in OC -- the backyard of great wealth --still exists as it does in Long Beach and many Southern California cities. In addition to feeding the hungry, Serato helps “motel families” find permanent housing.
The massive undertaking has earned Serato an international reputation for his humanitarian work. In addition to being a CNN Hero and knighted by the Italian government, he has graced the pages of People Magazine several times, appeared on countless national television programs including “CBS Evening News” and has been profiled in newspapers and magazines the world over. He received a humanitarian award on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, was honored by the Good News Foundation (LA female newscasters who offer financial grants to worthy causes) and received numerous proclamations, Man of the Year awards and other forms of recognition -- all of which he has accepted to generate public awareness of hunger in our communities.