Eating a taco helps fight your hunger. It also helps fight your neighbor's hunger. Well, at least that will be true next week. From November 14-18, The United Way of Tarrant County and a class of 23 seniors at Texas Christian University's Neeley School of Business in Fort Worth are partnering to hold Fort Worth Taco Week. The event's goal is to raise awareness of hunger in Tarrant County. In Fort Worth alone, 18,801 have requested food stamps, while 2,900 adults and 1,100 children are homeless, according to United Way.
During each day of Fort Worth Taco Week, a different participating restaurant will donate 25¢ from the sale of each taco to United Way of Tarrant County's efforts to fight hunger. Among the establishments involved are Yucatan Taco Stand and Los Vaqueros. The full list can be found here.
The weeklong fundraiser was born out of a brainstorming session between TCU marketing professor Stacy Landreth Grau and digital marketers J. Blake Martin and Kerry Dean from Range Online Media. They presented the idea to United Way as a project for Grau's Performance Marketing class. "They asked if we [the students] wanted to do something else," said marketing student and senior Hannah O'Toole. "But we all jumped on board immediately because everyone loves tacos!"
The list of participating eateries offers little surprise, save one: the absence of hometown favorite Fuzzy's Taco Shop, a chain that owes its success to hungover and sleep-deprived TCU students and one of the first companies the class contacted, opted not to participate.
"Seriously though, I don't know why they didn't participate. They were one of the very first restaurants we approached," said Martin. Grau, however, thinks it might have to do with finances. "Many restaurants had already committed their philanthropy budgets. And we were new. It was a risk to let a bunch of marketing students do this. We thank those who took the chance on us. We hope that more restaurants will see our value and participate next year."
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Tim McKinney, president and CEO of United Way of Tarrant County, said it shouldn't be misinterpreted. "Fuzzy's is a business. Theirs was a business decision and ought to be respected." Instead, said McKinney, attention should be paid to the student's efforts. "Part of United Way's mission is to form innovative partnerships with other organizations. The TCU students' project meshes perfectly with that mission. We have been impressed with the tremendous creativity and energy of the TCU students." The creativity to which McKinney is referring includes social media and a video of the "taco streaker," a young man in a taco suit running around like a maniac and handing out gift cards. The video can be seen below.
City of Ate contacted Fuzzy's corporate offices, but no marketing personnel were available at the time, nor has any Fuzzy's employee returned our call.
Follow Fort Worth Taco Week on Twitter and Facebook for updates or visitwww.fortworthtacoweek.com for more information. If you're in Fort Worth next week, you'll probably eat a taco at some point. Why not eat for a good cause?