Tacos 4 Life Serves The Community More Than Food

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Tacos 4 Life staff in front of sign
The Tacos 4 Life crew stands next to the sign of the store in Waxahachie. The nationwide food chain is working to end world hunger by donating meals to children when purchases are made in the stores. Photo courtesy of Jim Stanford

A Mission To End Child Hunger

When Jim Stanford was shown a particular number, he knew he had to do his part to bring it down.

So, he opened a Tacos 4 Life franchise in Waxahachie. Now, he is part of a nationwide company that is working to end hunger among children. For every taco or entrée sold, the company provides a nutritious meal to a child.

“Our founders, Austin and Ashton Samuelson, learned that 18,000 children were dying every day due to starvation and hunger related issues,” Stanford said. “In their desire to help solve this tragic situation, they discovered that hunger is one of the world’s most solvable problems. The issue stems mainly from a lack of distribution of the world’s food supply. This fact inspired them to act in an effort to be part of the solution.

“As a franchisee located in Waxahachie, Texas, our heart is in complete alignment with the vision set forth by the Samuelsons, who started Tacos 4 Life in Conway, Arkansas, in June of 2014.”

Supporting Waxahachie Through COVID & Beyond

To date, T4L’s 19 operating locations (with more on the way) has provided more than 20 million meals distributed around the world. Stanford’s store in February of 2019 and has contributed over 787,000 of those.

Stanford said the mission to end world hunger begins in partnership with Feed My Starving Children. FMSC is a non-profit organization that provides nutritious meals to organizations in over 60 countries around the world.

While corporately they partner with an international organization, each franchise is a valued member of the community in which they serve. For example, when COVID shut down schools in the area, T4L began providing food packages to families with students that counted on school meals, as well as to seniors who were not able to get food for themselves.

In addition, they closed the restaurant during the winter storm when many were without power and opened the dining room as a warming center where they handed out food to those who came in. They have also worked with local charitable organizations when possible.

The Community Can Count On Tacos 4 Life

“The partners we have in our community are the reason we are able to fulfill our mission of feeding children around the world,” Stanford said. “That mission does not stop with our meal count. We want our community to know that we care about them and that they can count on us to be a partner in meeting needs here at home as well.”

Stanford said once he learned of T4L’s worldwide mission, he simply had to join in.

“Tacos 4 Life’s mission to end world hunger is the very reason that I am even part of the organization. Being a Christian, I recognize that any successes I have had in business are attributable to the abilities and provision with which God has blessed me,” he said. “As such, my interests in business are more about making a difference in our world through enterprise rather than just being about making money. So, when I heard about the mission of Tacos 4 Life, I fell in love with the concept.

Perfect Timing, Perfect Fit

“Personally, the timing for where I was in my faith and finances made it the perfect fit for accomplishing the goal of doing business with a purpose greater than myself.”
Stanford would like to see other businesses follow the lead of T4L. While much is being done to help the unfortunate by many businesses, there can always be more.

“There are a lot of organizations that are very generous in donating to needs in our world. Tacos 4 Life definitely does not stand alone in that category,” he said. “However, I do believe Tacos 4 Life is an excellent example of what we can all do if we stand together for the common good. Sadly, too many children around our world are dying because they do not have enough food and T4L, along with our amazing customers, is doing something about it.”

With Blessings Comes Great Responsibility

And, he said, such efforts are needed now more than ever as the world battles the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

“The last few years have definitely proven that difficulties in life are never that far away. For those who are facing starvation and hunger, the pandemic only made the situation worse as distribution and funding was often directed elsewhere,” he said. “This mission will not end until there are no more deaths from hunger and starvation. So, it will not cease to be important, whether we are living in good times or bad if children continue to needlessly die.

“Words cannot express my gratitude for all that I have: my faith, my family, my country, and my freedom. The blessings that are bestowed upon us come with a great amount of responsibility. Knowing that people have tremendous need and looking the other way when we have the ability to help is tantamount to being complicit in their suffering. Everyone should help where they can, when they can, and our world would be a much less divided and more loving place.”

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Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and two granddaughters

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