What We Do
Taste Project is a nonprofit 501(c)3 designed to end hunger one community at a time. We plan to do so through a variety of community-centric projects focusing on the under-served food insecure population.
One of every six Americans face the reality that they may not be able to provide for their next meal. 90% of those who are hungry are not homeless, but working and facing everyday challenges. They may be facing an unexpected medical bill, they may have lost a job recently, or they may be single parents. But they are our neighbors.
Check out the projects we’re working on…
- Taste Community Restaurant
- Taste Community Garden
- FORT WORX Job Training
- Urban Farm Project
- Taste Truck
Taste Community Restaurant
Taste Community Restaurant is more than just your average restaurant; but a community place where all are welcome regardless of means. We are creating the only sustainable solution to end hunger in Fort Worth. One in six in our country is hungry. And in Tarrant County, Texas, 36% of the food insecure population do not qualify for government programs.
Many people in our community don’t know what to do when they see hunger. Most people want to help, but they don’t know how. When they see hunger, many don’t believe they can give enough to make a difference, or they wonder if it will really help.
Taste Project invites our community to taste and see. We are a community solution where people in need can meet people who want to help. All with dignity, love, and respect.
Our initial project is a full service restaurant located in Fort Worth, Texas where everyone is welcome. Our menu has no prices, not because we’re fancy, but because we ask guests to pay-what-you-can. Those in need and those wanting to help are not segregated, in order to create an environment that is approachable and refreshing. All guests can do one of the following:
Pay what you can afford, or
Pay what you would typically pay, or
Pay what you would typically, plus a little extra.
This is a give and take concept with proven models across the country. Nearly 1.3 million meals are served each year from community cafes. Panera Cares, an outreach of Panera Bread Company, operates 3 pay-what-you-can cafes with a 70-75% realization of the retail value of the food. We anticipate a similar gap and we plan to fill this gap in revenue with volunteer staff and servers, an expense that typically equates to 33-35% of traditional restaurant costs.
This pay-what-you-can concept doesn’t replace soup kitchens and food banks; it only provides another innovative option. Soup kitchens are good, but not everyone feels good about going there. This new concept provides a venue for individuals and families to fill their bellies without shame. Now there is no reason for anyone in our community to go hungry.
Please join us for lunch at Taste Community Restaurant. We have saved a seat just for you, and every detail is being organized so you feel right at home. We want to meet you and meet your needs in a personal and meaningful way. Whether that is a meal, or a friendly face, we hope to see you soon!
Taste Community Restaurant
1200 South Main Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76104
Taste Community Garden
Taste Community Garden will provide fresh, healthy food to guests at Taste Community Restaurant, while also serving as a hub where diners and volunteers can learn about gardens, food sourcing, gardening techniques, and promote use of these skills at home.
We hope to build a space where our community can develop, maintain, and share knowledge within a community garden tied to a restaurant. Additionally, this work will transform a currently barren lot section into an aesthetically pleasing patio and garden, promoting green space and healthy development within the Near Southside district.
The patio is complete and opened for dining in June 2020. Our team is working to open the garden space shortly.
Taste Community Garden made possible by:
And individual donors like you!
FORT WORX Job Training Program
Taste Project, in collaboration with the Tarrant Area Food Bank and the Culinary School of Fort Worth, has launched an accelerated culinary apprenticeship program designed specifically for low-income adults. Apprentices can develop skills for a culinary career while getting paid. No experience is required, only a passion for food and service.
How it Works
Students learn the fundamentals of food preparation hands-on in a working production kitchen at the Tarrant Area Food Bank’s Mission Kitchen. Then, students learn the fundamentals of food preparation hands-on in a working full-service restaurant at Taste Project’s Taste Community Restaurant. While completing work at the Tarrant Area Food Bank and Taste Project, Apprentices are enrolled in the Culinary School of Fort Worth’s Pre-Apprenticeship Program which includes American Culinary Federation (ACF) Certification as a Fundamentals Cook and job placement support.
While seasonal menus are not a new concept in Fort Worth, Taste Community Restaurant is located in the city’s largest food desert where access to affordable good-quality fresh food is limited. We are the only affordable healthy food option within this food desert; and we compete with a dozen affordable fast food options. And ironically, we also exist within in one of the largest medical districts in the Metroplex!
“The food is always great and nutritious (the only good & healthy meal I eat is here)…” Taste Community Restaurant Guest
Many of our guests have chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease which require nutritionally dependent diets.
In addition, the life expectancy in our 76104 zip code, which is the heart of this large food desert, is the lowest in the state of Texas. The average life expectancy for residents of 76104 is 66.7 years–12 years less than the national average.
In a recent Star-Telegram interview, Graves, a former resident of 76104 said, “I think if we had more money, my mother, my grandmother would have considered buying healthier foods, but we didn’t”.
Limited access to fresh nutritious foods can lead to chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Community gardens and urban farms in food deserts can improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Volunteers plant, water, cultivate, and harvest crops for themselves and their communities.
Taste Project has been granted 1/3 acre at Opals Farms, also located within Fort Worth’s largest food desert. Opal’s Farm is a program of Unity Unlimited, a nonprofit organization, with a special use grant from the Trinity Water Authority. The organization cultivates 5 acres along the Trinity River with adequate water access.
This partnership allows Opals’ Farm to cultivate more land with access to a greater number of volunteers. And it reduces program startup costs for Taste Project.
We will use volunteers to grow melons and vegetables for our seasonal Summer menu launching on June 8th.
We cannot reach everyone at a single location; but we can reach more from our existing location with a food truck. We are currently in the planning stages for a future Taste Truck. We have laid the infrastructure at Taste Community Restaurant to park, store, and equip a food truck for outreach in and around Dallas/Fort Worth.
We envision a program that reaches into food deserts, supports the changing needs of our community, and supports our community as apart of the emergency food relief system.
Taste Truck will offer a variety of fresh, high quality meal options to its guests. The menu will change as often as the seasons, and when it is time to pay, patrons can choose to pay it forward and support our outreach and emergency food relief efforts. Guests who pay-it-forward allow us to provide outreach and emergency relief meals at no charge.
If you want to help make the Taste Truck a reality, you can donate today. We are looking for the following support:
- A used truck that can be converted into a food truck
- Used kitchen equipment
- Financial contributions to support fabrication