Though Chef Roberto Mendoza has spent his illustrious career serving meals to US presidents and A-list celebrities, he is now using his recent lottery win to feed the homeless.
As a former White House chef, Mendoza has cooked for Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George Bush, Donald Trump, and an assortment of royal international guests. Additionally, he has served as a chef for the Academy Awards.
Since leaving the White House, he has been managing a restaurant and cooking for the homeless in Charlotte, North Carolina—but, thanks to his mother’s sagely instincts, he will now be feeding many more homeless communities.
Mendoza’s mother recently traveled to the U.S. from Guatemala, in order to visit her son. During her stay, she got a “lucky feeling” that Mendoza was going to win the lottery.
Despite his aversion to gambling, he decided to listen to his mother’s intuition. He bought a $5 scratch-off ticket from a local convenience store and was stunned to find that he had won the top prize of a quarter million dollars.
“My hands started shaking when I saw the numbers,” Mendoza said. “I’ve been shaking ever since.”
After taxes, Mendoza took home $176,876 – and he plans on using all of the money to finish building a kitchen that will feed the homeless in the Dominican Republic.
Mendoza first bought thevillage property for the kitchen three years ago as part of his foundation’s work to feed the hungry.
“We feed more than 300 children through my foundation,” Mendoza said. “I know what it’s like to be hungry. I told myself when I was a teen that, if I’m ever in a position to give back, I’d do everything I can to make sure no one else has to go hungry.”
(WATCH the quick interview below)
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