William Cabaniss - Tennessee Interview by Olivia Bush Nomination by Jillina Cabaniss Photography by Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow Issue 35 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Upon hearing that local food banks were experiencing high demand due to COVID-19, William Cabaniss, already having a soft spot for people who are hungry wanted to help. William founded a nonprofit - Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow- where he is making, bottling, and selling homemade vanilla extract and donating all profits to Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee where he also volunteers. .
Photography by Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow
How did you get the idea to start your nonprofit Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow? I had just finished watching a news segment about the long lines at food banks around the country and I went to the kitchen to make my “Vanilla Brownies” and as I added the vanilla it hit me. I could sell vanilla extract to help support these food banks.
How did you decide that you were going to bottle and sell vanilla extract, rather than any other food or ingredient? I have always enjoyed the flavor that vanilla can bring to your baking. Also, with the quarantine people started baking more and they required more vanilla extract.
Where will the profits that you make go to? All profits are donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee. I choose to donate to them because they are such an amazing organization. Their range of service is just incredible, they have so many different programs, and they can turn a one-dollar donation into 3 meals.
Image by Andrea Madeleine Photography
Is this nonprofit something that you hope to continue for many years even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over? I see myself doing this for the foreseeable future. This need won’t end when there is a vaccine or the pandemic has ended.
When did you start volunteering at food banks? What inspired you to start doing this? I had classmates in school who were truly hungry. It has bothered me as long as I can remember. I have been volunteering at food banks/pantries for many years. As a 7-year-old, I would work at a soup kitchen through my grandma’s church. I would donate bananas, my favorite fruit, to a local food pantry along with monetary donations from my allowance starting in Kindergarten.
How can people around the country and the world help food banks in their areas like you are doing? To help the currently overwhelmed food banks in your local areas you can donate money, volunteer, or donate food. Reach out and contact your local food banks/ pantries for specific needs or volunteer opportunities. They would appreciate the help very much, and you would be helping your community.
William will be featured in issue 35 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!