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You’d never know the brick building on South Main Street in Fort Worth houses a dining destination, but according to the Yelp community, Taste Community Restaurant is one of the top 100 places to eat in Texas this year.
“The food’s delicious. really enjoyed it,” said a diner who showed up for lunch with his wife and two sons.
The cooks in the kitchen of Taste Community Restaurant serve up meals that satisfy the taste buds of families and friends – and come with a side of compassion.
“Taste Project is a nonprofit here in Fort Worth, and we run Taste Community Restaurant which is a pay what you can restaurant. There aren’t prices on the menu. People are just able to come in and enjoy a restaurant quality meal and pay what they’re able to afford that day,” said executive director Jeff Williams.
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Williams founded Taste Project in 2012, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting hunger and food insecurity. It’s an experience Williams says he had a few times as a kid.
“So I think I have a passion to help people that are similiar situations. And when I felt God was leading me to do this, it wasn’t something I was able to say no to,” Williams said.
And, so, Jeff and his team of mostly volunteers say yes to everyone who comes in for a meal.
Some will pay nothing. Some will pay what they can afford. Some will pay more. All get the same good food. All dine together.
“It’s awesome when you can look at your dish and see it going to that person out there and they take a bite and go, wow, that’s amazing,” smiled Dominique Dixon, a line cook and apprentice in Fort Worx, a new partnership among Tarrant Area Food Bank, Taste Project and Culinary School of Fort Worth. It’s a tuition-free program for those interested in a career in the culinary industry. Program participants are paid while they learn new skills.
From the training program to the restaurant, the innovative approach to fighting hunger recently earned Taste Project a $75,000 grant from NBC 5, Telemundo 39 and the Comcast NBUniversal Foundation.
“It allows us do what we do. Not every one who comes in the restaurant can pay retail value for their food. Grants like the one we got through ComcastNBC really help us fill that gap,” Williams said.
The pay-what-you can restaurant filling stomachs and hearts.