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

“No one should have to worry about hunger.”

Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow
Photo: Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow

For avid baker William Cabaniss, inspiration struck while he was adding vanilla to a batch of brownies. The 14-year-old had just watched a news segment about how the coronavirus pandemic was resulting in long lines for food banks across the country.

It just seemed wrong, and he felt compelled to help however he could.

So, William decided to raise money for his local food bank by making and selling a baking essential: vanilla extract.

"I know people were doing a lot more baking during the pandemic," he told Farragut Press. "I thought I could sell vanilla extract, and contribute to the food banks, since they needed monetary donations."

The project was a huge undertaking, "with quite a learning curve," William said.

"First, I started looking at beans and where they were from, how much they cost and if the taste would equate to a product people would actually buy," he said.

William Cabaniss Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow
Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow

In a few short months, the Tennessee teen's nonprofit, Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow, has made more than $9,000— translating to more 27,000 meals—for Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee.

"If I can only help one person, I will be satisfied that I have made a difference. However, I would like to do this for as many people as I can," William told Good News Network (GNN). "No one should have to worry about hunger. This is my goal for Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow."

Since May, William has been pretty much running the show—with some assistance from his parents and grandmother. Even his younger brother and sister have helped by making boxes.

His mom Jillina told GNN that she's very proud of her son, "William is working so hard trying to help fight hunger in his community," she said.

WATCH: The Sales From This Painting Dog's Artwork Have Funded 2,000 Pounds of Food Donations During the Coronavirus Pandemic

An 8 oz. bottle of Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow's homemade Pure Vanilla Extract (made from premium Madagascar beans) will run you $30, the equivalent of 42 meals for people who are hungry.

To buy and/or donate, visit

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