WAXAHACHIE

Waxahachie residents and visitors will be able to lend a hand in the mission to end world hunger through their patronage of the city’s newest restaurant, Tacos 4 Life.

Tacos 4 Life donates a portion of its proceeds to the nonprofit Feed My Starving Children, which supplies meals to people in need.

The restaurant is anticipated to open later in 2018 in the Waxahachie Marketplace retail center on North U.S. Highway 77. However, no opening date is set at this time.

Jim Stanford, the franchise owner, fell in love with the restaurant’s mission of giving to others in need.

“I had never heard of Tacos 4 Life. I have a brother-in-law that lives in Arkansas that said, ‘you need to check out this restaurant. It feeds kids around the world and has the heart for missions,’” Stanford relayed. “That is one of the things that I always have been really excited about are missions.”

Stanford — a Red Oak resident — researched the company and had more questions about franchise opportunities. He has invested a year's time to open doors in Waxahachie.

“The thing I like to do in business is business with a purpose, and I want to have meaning behind it,” Stanford explained. "I am excited that we get to open a restaurant and it changes the lives of kids around the world.”

Tacos 4 Life offers gourmet tacos and meals prepared by a chef. Some of the tacos include mango habanero chicken, Korean barbecue steak, seared tofu, Hawaiian shrimp and spicy chorizo. Other dishes include a Mexican Cobb salad and a southwest rice bowl.

Through the purchases of every taco, quesadilla, salad or rice bowl Tacos 4 Life donates $0.22 to Feed My Starving Children. The amount given per menu item is equivalent to the cost of one meal for a hungry child.

Feed My Starving Children was founded in 1987 and provides nutritiously complete meals specially formulated for malnourished children. Since its establishment, Feed My Starving Children has shipped 2,110,439,152 meals, according to its website.

The meals are distributed to schools, orphanages, medical clinics and feeding programs in 70 countries. More than 99 percent of FMSC meals have safely reached their destination.

Sanford recently traveled to Swaziland, Africa to distribute the food funded by donations from Tacos 4 Life guests with its distributor Children’s Cup.

“We were able to go to several care points where they were serving the food,” Sanford recalled. “We got to help cook it and distribute it and spend time with the kids and see the impact that it makes in their lives.”

Waxahachie Tacos 4 Life employees will have the chance to take a trip like this to experience the impact they are making. Employees can also assist a child directly that the store has pledged to sponsor.

The store will host a public, mobile packing event to ship food overseas. Each food pack contains a mixture of rice soy proteins, dehydrated vegetables, and a vitamin mix.

Austin Samuelson, the owner of Tacos 4 Life, stated, gives God all of the glory for the success of the restaurant.

“We have to give God all the credit. He has provided all the way,” Samuelson expressed. “The growth that we have seen is from that passion and our guests owning the mission. We are just the conduits to allow our guests to do something good while going about their normal day.”

Samuelson shared how neat it is to hear parents speak with their child about how the food they are eating is going to help provide another meal to a kid just like them.

When Samuelson opened his first restaurant, Pizza for Two, in 2011 and Tacos 4 Life in 2014, a total of 5.5 million meals have aided people in need. Each Tacos 4 Life restaurant funds about 1,000 meals daily, Samuelson estimated.

“We think that we can be apart of the solution and see a day when no child has to starve to death simply because they don’t have food,” Samuelson advocated.

A date for an official opening of the 4,000-square-foot restaurant has not been determined yet.

For more information about Tacos 4 Life go to its website at www.tacos4life.com. Information on Feed My Starving Children can be found at www.fmsc.org.