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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 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[1].

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:

  1. Pay what you can afford, or

  2. Pay what you would typically pay, or

  3. 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[2].  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[3].  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[4].

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

 

 Come Eat with Us

 

[1] Map the meal gap.  Feeding America.  [2] http://www.oneworldeverybodyeats.org/  [3] http://paneracares.org/faqs/  [4] National Restaurant Association, 2010.

 

 

Taste Community Garden

Taste Community Garden provides 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.

Here our community can develop, maintain, and share knowledge within a community garden tied to a restaurant. Additionally, this work transformed a barren lot section into an aesthetically pleasing patio and garden, promoting green space and healthy development within the Near Southside district.

Reserve a seat for breakfast, lunch, or brunch on our patio directly from our home page.  Or signup to volunteer in the garden.

Reserve a Table      Sign up to Volunteer


Taste Community Garden made possible by:

And individual donors like you!

Donate Now

Your Culinary Career Starts Here!  

Taste Project’s Culinary Job Training Programs are designed with YOU in mind.  We provide the critical training you need to get a living wage, highly-skilled position within the foodservice industry segment that is expanding.  We focus on hands-on work experience in real-world environments located right here in your community; which is why our apprentices are in-demand.

Our unique program concludes with our Showcase Dinner; a final exam where apprentices develop, plan, prepare, and present their menu to local employers looking to hire YOU! Employers include Dickies Arena, Fixture Kitchen and Social Lounge, Marriott Downtown, Sage Dining Services, Stonehouse Fine Dining, Texas Health Resources, the Worthington Hotel (Toro Toro Latin Steakhouse), and many others.  All of our Apprentices receive multiple job offers on-the-spot.

In addition, many of our Apprentices have gone on to our tuition-free two-year certified Sous Chef apprenticeship program where they can further develop their culinary and leadership skills in preparation for advanced careers in foodservice.

Get started now in a program based right here in your community!  

Apply Now

Three programs to choose from:


CFC Culinary Pre-Apprenticeship Program

Our 6-month Certified Fundamental Cook Culinary Pre-Apprenticeship program is designed specifically for 18-24 year olds.  It combines hands-on work experience on-site at Taste Community Restaurant, with one-on-one coaching and faith-based discipleship.

Apprentices spend 40 hours per week at Taste Community Restaurant: 32 hours preparing breakfast, lunch, and brunch for our guests each day, and 8 hours classroom instruction from the Culinary School of Fort Worth.

  • 6-month American Culinary Federation Certified Program.
  • 1,000 hours paid work experience.
  • Department of Labor (DOL) apprenticeship designation.
  • Job placement support.
  • No previous foodservice or work experience required.

Apply by July 1st, 2022 and receive a Henckel’s Classic 3 Piece Starter Knife Set and Chef Roll to jump start your culinary career!* 

Apply Now

*Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County eligibility required.  All federal, state, and local laws apply.  Void where prohibited.


Fort Worx Job Training Program

Fort Worx Foodservice Job Training Program is a collaboration between Taste Project, the Tarrant Area Food Bank, and the Culinary School of Fort Worth.

Apprentices spend 8 weeks at Tarrant Area Food Bank in the Mission Kitchen at the Tarrant Area Food Bank preparing thousands of ready-to-eat meals. Followed by 8 weeks learning the fundamentals of food preparation hands-on in a working full-service restaurant at Taste Community Restaurant.

  • Accelerated 16-week American Culinary Federation Certified Program.
  • 500 hours paid work experience.
  • Job placement support.
  • No previous foodservice or work experience required.

Apply Now


Sous Chef Apprenticeship Program

Our 2-year Certified Sous Chef Culinary Apprenticeship program is designed for CFC graduates with demonstrated leadership capabilities.  It combines hands-on work experience on-site at Taste Community Restaurant, with leadership practice and development.

Apprentices spend 40 hours per week at Taste Community Restaurant leading pre-apprentices and volunteers in the preparation of breakfast, lunch, and brunch for our guests each day.  In addition, our Apprentices spend 8 hours each week learning through the Culinary School of Fort Worth.

  • 2-year American Culinary Federation Certified Program.
  • 4,000 hours paid work experience.
  • Department of Labor (DOL) apprenticeship designation.
  • Guaranteed job placement.
  • Previous graduation from one of our programs as an ACF Certified Fundamental Cook is required.

Apply Now

Our Program Sponsors:

We could not change the lives of the people we serve without the support from our sponsors. To learn more about program sponsorship, contact us!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Volunteer at the Farm

Taste Truck

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

Donate Online