Karen Zendejas and her cousin, Bryana Martinez, are keeping themselves busy as they wait.

  • High-end chef now feeding those with food insecurity
  • Says he realized people in Orange County going hungry
  • Kitchen serves 1,500 healthy meals each week

“We’re spinning on a chair and we’re having so much fun,” said Karen Zendejas, a third grader. 

The cousins, and more than 200 of their neighbors, get to see special visitors every other week. The visitors bring them quality and healthy meals directly to their neighborhood, Warwick Square in Santa Ana.

“I feel thankful because they bring all this food and that’s nice of them,” said Karen.

What Karen and her cousin don’t get to see is all the work that goes into each meal. 

“This is chicken. Beautiful boneless chicken,” said Chef Bill Bracken.

Bracken fed famous clientele in Newport Beach and Beverly Hills at high-end hotels for 25 years, but he says who he serves now makes him proud. 

“Bracken’s Kitchen has done more for me than I’ve done for the people that we serve,” said Bracken.

The chef founded Bracken’s Kitchen in 2013 when he realized many people in Orange County were skipping meals because they can’t afford them. The hungry population includes veterans, seniors, homeless people and low-income families.

“If you do the math, over 300,000 people struggle with food insecurity in Orange County every day and those are people you wouldn’t know just by looking at them,” said Bracken.

Warwick Square is an affordable housing community with many residents facing food insecurity. Twice a month, Bracken and his team loads up their food truck, and bring food to the residents.

Residents enjoyed chicken piccata, salad and pudding. The young cousins’ favorite part of their meal is dessert. 

“My second favorite part is the potatoes and the chicken and the vegetables,” said Martinez, a fourth grader.

Chef Bill Bracken said he hopes he is making a difference in people’s lives, like Karen and Bryana, through his passion for cooking and helping others.

For more information on Bracken’s Kitchen and how you can help, check out their website here.