As Within So Without

This Tennessee Teen Has Donated Thousands of Dollars to Local Food Bank Through His Vanilla Company

This Tennessee Teen Has Donated Thousands of Dollars to Local Food Bank Through His Vanilla Company

William Cabaniss, a 14-year-old boy, living in the suburbs of Dallas, has always had a passion for baking. He started baking at the age of 8 and has perfected his skills.

William is now well known for his brownies, which he makes in batches of 20 every Friday to sell over the weekend. 

Young boy making cupcakes for his friends to raise money for food banks

His brownies are so famous that he started to think about opening a small bakery.  


That was until the day he learned about people going hungry. He was in the kitchen baking when and overheard the news of long lines of people at food banks around the country, a problem that had already plagued many communities and was made even direr by the pandemic.  'This isn't right. The Knoxville, Tennessee, teen's heart echoed that no one should go hungry. William couldn't stop thinking about the news report he had heard. 


 His mom explained that not everyone had enough food for various reasons out of their control, William's eyes filled with sadness. 


And as he poured vanilla extract into his brownie batter, an idea hit. He had heard that many people were spending more time cooking and baking from scratch, and he wanted to use his skills in this area to help people who were struggling with food insecurity. 

He knew vanilla extract was a crucial ingredient in many dessert recipes and had a long shelf life. He thought, what if I could make my vanilla extract and sell it to help raise money for those in need?  "That's a great idea," his parents agreed. William began researching how to make vanilla extract, and after many trials, he perfected his recipe, using premium Madagascar vanilla beans. 

Cutting Vanilla Beans

 He designed a website (VanillaFeedsTomorrow.com) and logo and found a shipping method and the perfect bottle. In May 2020, William launched his nonprofit, and Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow took off. Each 8-oz. bottle sells for $30, which is enough to provide 42 meals. All proceeds go to the Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, which supports several food pantries, organizations, and families within 18 local counties. Today, thanks to the generosity of people nationwide, the 15-year-old has donated over $140,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank.

William holding his vanilla extract promoting his non profit

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