Heart & Soulfood plans holiday fundraiser for foster families


With love, passion and a deep dedication to his community, local Chef Tyrone Bennett continues his mission to make Northeast Florida an even better place to live. He’s the founder of We Feed St. Augustine, a nonprofit that works with local restaurants and farmers to alleviate hunger for those in need. He’s also the owner, along with his wife Lateefa, of the popular Heart & SoulFood Truck, which has expanded to a brick-and-mortar location in downtown Palatka.

On Sunday, Dec. 3, they’re hosting not only the soft opening of the new eatery, but a fundraiser for local teens — where all proceeds support Fostering Connections, a local organization that offers educational programs and scholarships to youth and families impacted by foster care, adoption or trauma.

“The Holiday Backyard Southern Series: Down by the River” dinner will be at the Bennett’s new Heart & SoulFood Eatery on the Palatka riverfront. This is the first time they’ll open their doors, and the team is excited to host such a special event for their soft opening.

“We are so proud to be a part of this community, and we're committed to helping those in need, especially families,” said Bennett. “We are hoping to double last years’ efforts to $8,000 for this year!” The holiday dinner’s proceeds will go to Fostering Connections’ Career Readiness Academy Program in Putnam County, a job training program where students learn foundational skills like how to apply to jobs, writing a resume, interviewing, customer service and teamwork.

The Dec. 3 fundraiser is from 6 to 9 p.m. at 308 St. Johns Ave., Palatka. Tickets are $100. Tickets include unlimited tapas, mixed craft drinks, live entertainment by Chillula and Wes Register, an art walk display, and more. The eats will be crafted by a culinary team that includes Real Peel Pizza, Pitmaster Clay Murphy, Cowboy Chef Paul Brock, Chef Dustin Dailey, Chef Jimmy Hughes, Pitmaster Marvin Ross, Kelly Holleran of She Salt Charcuterie, Chef Ellie Schultze and Chef Kevin Golarge Rasberry, along with mixologists Amber Marie and Kayla Tackett.

Buy tickets and make a donation at givebutter.com/OfqHuE?mibextid=Zxz2cZ. The event is hosted by the Heart & SoulFood Eatery/We Feed Inc., along with News4JAX, WJXT Channel 4, and hosted by River City Live’s Rance Adams. Sponsors include Title Sponsor Beck Automotive Group, St. Augustine Amphitheatre, St. Augustine Distillery, Fort Mosé 1738/Victor George Spirits, St. Augustine Elks Lodge, Simone’s Woodcraft Grill, Sonny's BBQ and The Bailey Group.