FEED THE SOUL by Sarah Angle Five years ago, I had a baby. Three months after she was born, my husband lost his job. I’d taken time off from work to figure out that whole motherhood adventure. So when we went from a steady income with insurance to nothing, the first thing I did – after a lot of crying and looking for a paying job – was apply for food stamps, or as it’s more accurately called SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program). For sixth months, I surreptitiously used my SNAP card at the checkout line at Target and Kroger, wearing sunglasses and a hat, hoping (praying) that nobody would see me getting my food for free, courtesy of the U.S. government. I was ashamed, embarrassed, and counting down the days until I didn’t need that white little card anymore. That time in my life was the closest I’ve ever come to experiencing food insecurity, which happens when a person doesn’t have reliable access to a sufficient amount of nutritious food. According to Catholic Charities, a quarter of kids living in Fort Worth are food insecure. Over 15 percent of Texas families experience food insecurity, and Texas is one of the leaders in this sad category. When I was living on food stamps, with a tiny baby in tow, I would have never considered using my precious little funds to eat at a nice restaurant. But then, Taste hadn’t been built yet. The new nonprofit restaurant off Magnolia Avenue in Fort Worth’s Near Southside neighborhood serves up fancy fare, thanks to chef and founder, Jeff Williams. But more importantly, what it’s really serving up is dignity to those folks who can’t afford a meal out, or maybe any food at all. The restaurant’s innovative pay-what-you-can model empowers guests to pay for their meal and then a little extra for the families who can’t afford the full tab. Diners get great food, great karma, and the conversations that ensue when you’re eating alongside people who want to make the community a better place – just like you. When you see me there, please pull up chair, and let’s share a meal and leave an extra $20 for the next family. Because that was me not so long ago. Really, it could be anybody. DO-GOOD DETAILS Taste needs dedicated donors and volunteers to make monthly contributions to keep this nonprofit open and serving up delicious meals with dignity. Become a part of Magnolia Avenue’s most innovative concept for doing good today. Visit tasteproject.org or contact email@example.com. Get some food to feed the soul at 1200 S. Main Street.
UPDATES FROM OUR COMMUNITY
HUNGRY TO HELP? BURRITOS ARE THE NAME OF THE GAME. by Sarah Angle Can a burrito change the world? Well maybe just a little bit, when a grassroots team of Fort Worth folks with a passion for feeding the homeless pass out burritos every Sunday off Lancaster Avenue. Like most good ideas, it’s a simple one. It’s also something Adrienne Harper has been facilitating in Fort Worth for the past eight years. The Burrito Project is a national movement that started in California. Every chapter puts its own stamp on the project, but the basic mission remains the same: to bridge the gap between the fed and the hungry. “We’ve got one cook who makes the rice and beans at her house,” explains Adrienne. “And somebody else brings the tortillas; we add onions and anything else we can get our hands on,” she says. According to the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition’s annual homeless count, there were 1,594 people in Fort Worth living unsheltered, in emergency shelters, or in transitional housing earlier this year. And most homeless do live in Fort Worth, rather than the surrounding cities in Tarrant County. Many of those people and families find themselves off Lancaster Avenue, where the majority of Fort Worth’s shelters are located. So every Sunday, that’s where Adrienne and her small team of 5 – 10 volunteers get to work, passing out up to 100 burritos at a fast and furious pace. “Sometimes it’s so overrun,” says Adrienne. “So many people are hungry, and they need the burritos. You pass them out as fast as you can.”Other times, volunteers get a chance to talk to the people they’re serving, shake their hands, and hear part of their story. The experience is really rewarding, Adrienne says, and for the most part, people are so thankful. Fort Worth Burrito Project is its own breed (or burrito as it were) of good will. It’s not a 501c3 nonprofit. Rather, it’s a group of dedicated volunteers who go out and make the world a better place on a weekly basis. That distinction “keeps the DIY ethos,” says Adrienne. It’s also secular and non-political in nature, welcoming everyone who wants to help. It’s technically illegal to pass out food on the street that hasn’t been prepared in a commercial kitchen, says Adrienne. “But we’re not passing food out, we’re sharing food.” And the Fort Worth Police Department is supportive of the project and its mission. With temperatures reaching 100 degrees in Fort Worth during the hottest days of the summer, the Sunday menu changes up a bit, because nobody wants to eat a hot burrito when they’ve been standing outside in the scorching Texas sun all day, Adrienne says. Instead, the group serves up fresh fruit, granola bars, and bottled water. The Fort Worth Burrito Facebook group has 457 members, and Adrienne says that’s the best way to get connected to donate food, time, or money. It turns out that helping to feed the homeless burritos is deliciously quick and easy. Volunteers meet up at 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoons at the Montgomery Plaza parking lot off West 7th and carpool to their donation station off Lancaster Avenue. In just one-and-a-half hours – it’s a wrap! Volunteers are back to their cars in the parking lot and ready to head home. After years of running this group, Adrienne would love to see another Fort Worth Burrito Project form that serves food to the homeless on another day of the week, like Saturdays. “It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it,” says Adrienne. “Some people on the street really need to be on medication,” she says. “Some people aren’t having a good day. You don’t always get a thank you, and that’s totally cool. And that’s not the point of Burrito Project — when you give you can’t expect anything in return.” DO GOOD DETAILS To get involved with Fort Worth Burrito Project or learn how to create your own Fort Worth chapter, contact Adrienne Harper at 817-932-5118 or find out more on the Facebook page at Fort Worth Burrito Project.
photo by Jashley Boatwright
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Chief Alchemist and owner of Alchemy Pops Carolyn
Pâtissier extraordinaire Tareka Lofton continues to
Cyndee Hopkins is an author and speaker who helps
Phillips continues to revolutionize the pops and
impress with her bakery, Loft22 Cakes. This October,
people create more “happy” in their lives. She is a
foodservice industries by using fresh, locally sourced
Loft22 Cakes will partner with Kendra Scott for
regular guest lecturer at TCU, teaches classes for
ingredients to create unique, seasonal frozen pop
Kendra Scott’s Clearfork location’s grand opening,
the Silver Frogs, and mentors and coaches. She
flavors. Alchemy Pops will soon call 411 South Main
serving cupcakes, cookies and sweet treats. You
is hosting a Flourish Retreat in Marble Falls from
home, as the mobile catering company prepares to
can find Loft22 Cakes at the corner of E. Daggett
October 12 through October 15. Visit
open its first brick-and-mortar location this fall in a
and S. Main. Don’t miss their Caveman Cookies with
new retail and restaurant development called The 4
chocolate chips, potato chips, Captain Crunch cereal
about Cyndee, her book “Detour to Happiness,” and
Eleven at South Main and West Broadway.
and caramel drizzle!
the Flourish Retreat.
Katie Murray is excited about the community
Molly Pranke is building her business as a stylist for
Lark Design Style started in 2014 as a creative
mural commissioned by the folks in charge of the
Mac & Mia. A personal stylist for kids that wear size
outlet for two former-next-door-neighbors-turned-
Cowtown Marathon. Located behind their building,
0-6T, Molly puts together a box of six to ten items
inseparable friends, Kellie Lea and Erin Roark. (The
inside The Foundry District’s Inspiration Alley, the
of clothing, based on the customer’s requests and
name Lark combines their last names of Lea and
mural is a lighthearted and colorful representation
profile. The clothes get delivered to the customer’s
Roark.) Kellie graduated from LSU with a bachelor’s
of the marathon, incorporating cows with runners.
door, they try the clothing on at home, and then
degree in interior design, working in Dallas before
The paint by numbers mural differentiates itself from
send back any items that don’t work for them. Free
moving to Fort Worth. Erin graduated from Texas
others inside Inspiration Alley by activating Cowtown
shipping both ways and no subscriptions. Molly’s
A&M and learned design by watching her mom, who
Marathon’s volunteers and participants to paint a
website is www.macandmia.com/?c=MOLLYP and
is a decorator and has a keen eye for style. The two
piece of the mural, with designated colors, during
she is always happy to answer questions!
friends joined forces once their kids were in school
their visit to the office. All skill levels are encouraged
and have enjoyed every minute of putting their
to take part in creating this piece of Fort Worth art.
passion for interior design and all things beautiful into practice.
Lauren Childs’ first mural, “The Little Things,”
Tanglewood attorney Katie Copeland, recently
Isabella Breedlove performed her original song,
depicting succulents with vibrant color and texture,
named as a 2017 Top Attorney by 360 West
“Scarlett,” and a duet cover of “Mamas Don’t Let Your
bordering on sculptural, is located in the WestBend
Magazine, has accepted a position at the prestigious
Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” at the House of
shopping center. A passionate advocate for local
law firm of Cantey Hanger LLP in downtown Fort
Blues in Dallas in June. Isabella is a fifth-generation
art, Childs co-founded Fort Works Art, which
Worth, where she will practice family law, health law,
Fort Worth native and is well on her way to making
began as an event-based pop-up organization and
and litigation. She can be reached at (817) 877-2800.
her mark, not only on this town, but in the music
now is located in its permanent gallery space on
industry. Read the full article by Jocelyn Tatum on
Montgomery Street in the Cultural District.
the TanglewoodMoms.com blog. photo by Amber Shumake