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Tennessee teen helps East Tennessee with unusual product

William Cabaniss is a 9th grader, a track star, and a CEO of the nonprofit Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow. He started Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow to raise money for Second Harvest Food Bank.
Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 6:42 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - William Cabaniss is a 9th grader, a track star, and a CEO of the nonprofit Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow. He started Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow to raise money for Second Harvest Food Bank.

“It’s just amazing how much just this little bottle can do for people in East Tennessee,” said Cabaniss.

He has a passion for helping others. It took on a new purpose at the start of the pandemic.

“I turned on the news... and that is when I first saw food banks and food pantries across the world, and it just took me back to where I used to live. Hunger was a very prevalent issue, and I saw the effects of that at an early age. It was as early as kindergarten there were kids in my class who didn’t always have food and they relied on programs to help them get them the food they needed, and it really did bother me. No one should be hungry, and I started helping then and it’s just grown into this,” said Cabaniss.

He’s been volunteering at Second Harvest Food Bank ever since.

“For every dollar that you donate they can help with three meals which means one of the best places to put your money,” said Cabaniss.

Each one of his big jars of vanilla costs $30 bucks. He is then able to donate enough money from each sale to feed 42 people. He is giving Second Harvest a big check in December but wants to keep the amount a surprise for a bit longer.

“It’s just my way of helping people that are stuck in long lines that one year ago we’re perfectly financially secure,” said Cabaniss.

Cabaniss says for years to come he’ll be running Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow. Helping people make their treats while treating someone else to a much-needed meal.

They are serving meals to people in 18 East Tennessee counties including William’s hometown of Crossville and in Knox County, where he lives now.

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