Feeding a Passion, A Passion for Feeding
Queens Chef Roberto Mendoza has a passion for food that goes beyond creating gastronomic delights; he also wants to make sure the children of the world have enough food to eat. Recently, Chef Mendoza traveled to Washington, D.C. to receive an award for this work presented by a group of Latin American ambassadors. While pleased about his award, he is even more pleased to be able to continue pursuing his passion.
As a child growing up in El Salvador, Chef Mendoza often endured hunger while living with his grandmother. As a result of the civil war in his native country, he ended up in Canada, then California and finally Charlotte. Over the years, he moved up in the culinary world to his current position as Head Chef in the Queens Dining Hall.
Chef Mendoza says that "being a chef is a gift from God," and because he feels so blessed, he does everything he can to share his blessings. Along with Tania Rodriguez, Chef Mendoza created Fundacion Cristiana Caritas Felices to fight hunger and provide medical treatment and school supplies to those who otherwise would go without. He has donated food, time and money to various organizations and churches. He has fed kids in El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, as well as kids in Gastonia and Charlotte.
According to Queens' Chaplain, Dr. Diane Mowrey, Chef Mendoza was instrumental in making Queens' Operation Sandwich, a volunteer opportunity that provided 800 sandwiches to local people through the Urban Ministry Center, a success. In describing him, Dr. Mowrey says, "He is passionate about helping feed people."
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