GARDEN GROVE, Calif. – During the financial crisis experienced by the United States from 2008-10, nationally-renowned chef Bill Bracken saw friends who were previously financially sound lose their jobs and struggle, with food the first thing cut from their budgets.
Witnessing those struggles, especially with one of life's most basic needs, was when Bracken first felt called to feed people. Then In December 2011, Bracken unexpectedly found himself unemployed and experiencing first-hand what he witnessed his friends go through a couple years earlier.
Seeking out a way to leverage his talent and skills to those in need, he eventually came up with the concept of a food truck to bring those meals directly to them, and formed Orange County-based Bracken's Kitchen in March 2013. The 35-year veteran of the hospitality business' continued work to combat food insecurity through his nonprofit organization is why he was recognized as the Rams' 13th pLAymaker honoree.
"Considering the Rams were my very first football team that I came to love many years ago, there's a lot of history there," Bracken said. "And we know that the NFL does obviously a lot of work, as do the Rams, when it comes to hunger relief and just helping people, so we're truly, truly honored to be sitting here today and find out that we have been chosen. Wow. Kind of speechless."