8-Year-Old’s Challenge To His Father Inspires Him To Donate Millions Of Meals To Hungry And Homeless

Last week, Lynbrook High School senior Casidy Sterner played the last football game of his high school career.

As usual, his father, Ewell Sterner was in the stands to cheer his youngest son on.

It is the kind of moment when a dad will reflect on the past 17 years, hoping he has been a good influence on his son. Ewell Sterner will be the first to tell you, though, it is Casidy who inspired him to do something remarkable.

It happened when Casidy was just 8-years-old and the pair were volunteering at a shelter in San Diego feeding the hungry and homeless.

"He literally said, 'Dad we have so much food at home. We have to help. We have to fix this,'" the older Sterner said. "That was the genesis of Hunger at Home."

Hunger at Home is the non-profit Sterner started back then, one he revived a few years ago after his arrival in Silicon Valley to run the San Jose Convention Center for Team San Jose.

"I think that the re-spark for me was seeing the the abundance and the growth and seeing the the tent communities growing into massive communities," Sterner said. "This has to change."

With decades of experience in hotel food and beverage, Sterner has always been familiar with the amounts of surplus food that was available to help the hungry but was ending up in the trash as opposed to on trays feeding the needy.

Hunger at Home has changed that in a big way.

Contracting with the convention center, major hotels, and even Levi's Stadium they are responsible for more than 2 million meals in just a few years being donated to San Jose's Martha's Kitchen and the Salvation Army.

"Finally we're all in a room, we're talking together with industry, nonprofit and city council members, all in a room speaking. We're now sharing resources. We're sharing supply, we're sharing an abundance of supply," Sterner said.

Sterner believes, as amazing at Hunger at Home's success has been, it is still not enough to meet all the needs out there.

If everyone gave something, Sterner is convinced, society could do amazing things, that the next generation would be proud of.

"If we're not being part of the solution, what are we teaching our children?"

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