Entrepreneurship in Feeding the Hungry

There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha. She was always doing kind things for
others and helping the poor. Acts 9: 36 (The Bible, New Living Translation1)

Wendy Osborne swiveled in her well-used office chair and turned to look at the patron shopping area of Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry, an independent food bank serving hungry families in Spanish Fork, Utah. Looking past the well-stocked shelves and out the storefront windows, she watched the wind whip falling leaves all along the town’s Main Street. Those falling leaves meant that Thanksgiving was just around the corner, and visits to the pantry would pick up over the next few weeks as needy families hoped to celebrate the holidays.
Wendy had much to be thankful for as 2016 headed into the homestretch. Her dedicated work over the last six years had, quite literally, turned an inspired idea into a flourishing reality— Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry had grown from nothing to serving more than 4,000 families each month. Tabitha’s Way had just opened its second location in American Fork, giving the organization coverage of the entire county. Thoughts of the new location brought feelings of gratitude for success, but also trepidation about climbing the hills just ahead. Wendy wondered how her role needed to change as she tried to oversee locations more than twenty miles apart.

Defining hunger requires going beyond the transitory, uneasy state we all feel when our bodies desire food and nutrition. Those involved in the fight against hunger define it as food insecurity, or a state where “consistent access to [adequate] food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.”2 Adequate means enough food to enable an active and healthy life. Individuals and households might experience food insecurity rarely or regularly. The more regular a family’s challenges with adequate nutrition are, the greater the health and other problems that family faces.

Causes and Consequences
Food insecurity is a natural consequence of low household income, and rates of food insecurity correlate strongly with other measures of poverty. About 17 percent of households below 50 percent of the US poverty line experienced some challenge with hunger, compared to only 1 percent of households earning more than 185 percent of the poverty line.3 The link between hunger and poverty is far from absolute, however, and a focus solely on poor households would lead researchers or service providers to miss a large swath of the food insecure. Income insecurity, in addition to chronically low income, drives food insecurity. Families with seasonal incomes, for example, can experience hunger at predictable times of year; job loss, temporary disability,
relocation (moving), and family break-up (temporary or permanent) all threaten food security. Even positive events, such as the birth of a new child, can upset the delicate balance that pro- vides a family with food security.
As with most societal ills, the costs of food insecurity fall most heavily upon children. The negative effects of hunger on children trace back to a nutritional source—the physiological effects of low and/or poor calorie intake—and a caregiver stress pathway, the social and psychological disruptions that accompany hunger. Nutritionally, hunger often causes families to substitute calorie quantity for quality and, paradoxically, these nutrient-poor, calorie-dense foods increase the risk of childhood obesity, high cholesterol, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies from a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables. Hunger weakens the body, leaving it more vulnerable to both illness and injury. Hunger stresses parents and increases their likelihood of depression and anxiety. Higher stress levels increase the difficulty parents face in productive work and holding jobs. Stress reduces the quantity and quality of parent–child inter- actions: parents have less time to spend with, and fewer emotional resources to support, their children.4

Prevalence in the United States and Utah County
Hunger is as old as humanity. For most of the world’s history, chronic poverty left people haunted by the specter of constant hunger and starvation. Famine represented one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and rode with Death, Pestilence (disease), and War. The four constituted major, and constant, plagues for individuals and societies. The industrial revolution brought slow but steady relief from hunger to Western Europe and the United States, with aver- age incomes rising from about $3 per day in 1800 to $120 (United States) or $137 (Norway) today.5 As incomes rose, calorie consumption went up. With incomes below $3 per day in many places in the world, the threat of starvation continues to be very real for billions of the world’s inhabitants.
Even in the industrialized, high-income United States, hunger continues to be a problem. Eighty-six percent of Americans enjoyed food security in 2014, but 14 percent were food insecure at some point during the year. A little more than one-third of those experienced severe food insecurity, in which their normal diet was affected: food intake was reduced and normal eating patterns were disrupted. While these percentages seem low at first glance, they mask a sobering number of Americans struggling with hunger: 17.4 million households (about 45 million people, or the combined total population of the smallest twenty-five US states) experienced food insecurity at some point during 2014, and 6.9 million households (17.5 million people, or the equivalence of the population of the states of Illinois and Louisiana) were severely affected.6
Food security varies by region. While the national average for food insecurity was 14.3 percent (about 1 in 7 people) between 2012 and 2014, North Dakota had the lowest rate of food insecurity (8.4 percent or about 1 in 12 people), while Mississippi had the highest (22 percent or more than 1 in 5). Utah fared better than the national average, with 13.3 percent of households (127,000) experiencing food insecurity, and 4.7 percent of households (44,000) experiencing severe food insecurity.7 Because households in Utah are larger than the national average, about 400,000 people lived with food insecurity, and about 138,000 experienced severe food insecurity. Rates of food insecurity were higher in Utah County, with 14.2 percent of households fac-
ing hunger.8 With a little more than 148,000 households in the county, about 21,000 of them, or about 76,000 people, experienced food insecurity at some point during the year. The county faced two additional challenges. First, its population grew rapidly from 2011 to 2015, 11.3 percent, adding almost 60,000 new residents during the period.9 Second, services to provide for the hungry could barely keep up with the need. The county’s largest religious denomination, the Mormons, operated two full-time pantries that primarily focused on its own members, and three other local churches had part-time pantries. Only one non-profit food bank, Community Action Services, operated in the county. As time went by, Utah County needed more resources to feed a greater number of hungry people.10

Tabitha’s Way
In late 2009, Wendy Osborne, a woman deeply committed to her evangelical Christian faith, found herself reading the Bible during a time of deep self-reflection. She describes her experience:
I was praying and meditating on a scripture in Acts 9:36 and it talks about a woman who is called Tabitha. What she did was help people in her community. I was envisioning this woman and the relationship she had with the people and her community. I was meditating on that scripture and God spoke to my heart and said, “I want you to leave your job and I want you to go do this. I want you to start Tabitha’s Way. I want you to start a food pantry and provide food for people.”
Wendy began working almost immediately. Her first task was to tell her husband, who said, “If that’s what God told you to go do, do it.” Other family and close friends weren’t as supportive, offering either indifference or skepticism about the wisdom of her venture. Undaunted, Wendy gave her work thirty days’ notice that she would be leaving and continued to move ahead with Tabitha’s Way. To save money, Wendy filed her own application to incorporate as a 501c-3 organization, a miraculous feat for a woman who by her own admission couldn’t figure out a simple tax form.
She continued to reach out to family, friends, and neighbors in the community to gather resources. She found some people energized by her cause and mission, and others doubting either the prevalence of the need or Wendy’s ability to meet it. A critical first task involved find- ing the right location for the pantry. The location had to be zoned for food storage/ commercial use, and needed adequate space and power for refrigeration and other inventory needs, a front end area to distribute food, and proximity to public transportation, a necessity in accessibility for many of the food insecure. And the price and lease terms had to fit Wendy’s shoestring budget. The power of the Tabitha’s Way message opened doors among the receptive, often in unexpected ways. Wendy’s best friend’s husband’s mother’s boyfriend’s former business partner had space for lease that met all the criteria Tabitha’s Way needed, and that rather extended connection solved her first problem.
With a legal organization in progress and a building in need of cleaning and organizing, Wendy set about securing the two next important resources—money to pay the lease and buy other supplies, and food to provide to those in need. As she began to learn about the nonprofit world, especially during the Great Recession that began in 2009, Wendy saw that nonprofits that relied on government funding lived a precarious life—they had all seen their government funding reduced or eliminated because of budget cuts. Government funds seemed to provide a false sense of security. Wendy decided that Tabitha’s Way would rely only on private funding.
To solve the cash problem, Wendy dedicated the front end of the facility to support a small thrift store. Serendipity continued to play a role when a local ministry decided to close its own clothing operation. It provided Tabitha’s Way with clothing racks, an initial stock of clothing, and other supplies needed to open and run the thrift store. Wendy went on the road, visiting local community organizations, business, and schools in search of both food and clothing. Community members generously donated clothing to help needy local residents, and Tabitha’s Way soon had more than enough inventory to stock the shelves. Online research by Wendy’s husband revealed a market for bulk used clothing that could generate cash for the organization. If Tabitha’s Way could provide a constant supply of clothes into this channel, the pantry could contract with vendors for a stable cash flow at a higher price per pound than selling clothes on an ad hoc basis. During the next two years, Tabitha’s Way would install more than 100 neigh- borhood bins to collect used clothing for sale in the secondary market. The organization would soon be selling 20 tons of clothing every quarter.

Wendy had approached two local grocers in the hopes of setting up a grocery rescue program. Grocery stores have to discard nutritious perishables that hadn’t sold or prepared foods approaching the sell-by date, and nonprofits provide a service by rescuing this very safe and edible food and putting it into the hands of needy families instead of the trash. Both local stores, however, declined Wendy’s offer because they were already involved in other programs. Tabitha’s Way’s first food donation was a case of Top Ramen and a few cans of soup, hardly enough to provide food for many hungry families. That same week, however, a local school called to donate 4,000 pounds of canned food, and the two local grocers called back with an offer—Tabitha’s Way was welcome to rescue food on the weekends, holidays, and other times left uncovered by the stores’ other commitments. The food rescue program would eventually grow to cover most of South Utah County and would generate from 35,000 to 40,000 pounds
(17.5–20 tons) of food each month.
In June 2010, Wendy and her volunteers began distributing food packages to the few local families that happened by the store. By October, when all the necessary licenses had been approved and the official ribbon cutting ceremony took place, Tabitha’s Way had a regular cli- entele that kept Wendy and other volunteers busy throughout the day. Wendy felt that she had, to this point, answered God’s call to feed the hungry.

With the pantry up and running, Wendy faced a new challenge: keeping up with growth. Each milestone she hit (staying open all day, creating a contract to sell bulk clothing) represented a success and helped meet the mission of Tabitha’s way, but each milestone created a new set of operational challenges. Up to this point, she had relied on family, friends, a few volunteers, and the positive word of mouth the food bank had received in the local community. Word of mouth brought in donations and volunteers, usually 1–2 per week. Volunteers helped staff the thrift store, unload and sort food, and help pick up clothing from the neighborhood donation bins. Wendy needed to learn how to transform an occasional and sporadic pool of volunteers into an ongoing and stable one. In the early days, it was easy to manage a few volunteers—what needed to be done was pretty clear to all. As the operation grew and became more sophisticated, making sure volunteers ended up doing productive work took more and more of Wendy’s time.
Tabitha’s Way organized and sponsored several events to reach out to the hungry and to the local community. In the late summer, the organization sponsored a backpack give-away for children and youth in preparation for back-to-school. Children received a new backpack loaded with socks, underwear, notebooks, crayons, and other school supplies. Kids would start school on a better footing and the give-away gave needy families a reason to come to the pantry where they would receive food packs and necessary clothing items. The give-away also brought awareness within the larger community, and an increasing number of volunteers. From this pool, Wendy began to find a core group of regular, stable, and talented volunteers who could help manage her burgeoning operation. Tabitha’s Way held other events to help families prepare for winter, giving away coats and turkeys in early November, and hosting a Christmas toy event in December.
Each March, the pantry organized HFAN, Homeless for A Night, at Spanish Fork High School. Students paid an entry fee and participated in a night full of activities to raise money for Tabitha’s Way. In addition to fundraising, HFAN gave students an opportunity to learn more about hunger and food insecurity; Wendy hoped that knowledgeable students would be more likely to reach out to the hungry and homeless at the high school. By 2015, HFAN involved more than 900 students (almost three-quarters of the student body) and raised more than $14,000 to feed the hungry.11
Clothing provided operating funds for Tabitha’s Way to pay for the building, heat, lights, and other operating expenses as well as the purchase of perishable food items (dairy products, meat, and some fruit) that families needed but were difficult to obtain through donations. Clothing donations stocked the thrift store and provided Tabitha’s Way with additional funds through bulk resale. In 2012, Wendy signed a five-year contract with a company to provide 200 clothing bins to accept donations. The company took a cut of the bulk revenue to cover the cost of the bins, and Tabitha’s Way received the rest of the money. When the contract expired in 2017, Wendy would own the bins outright, and all proceeds from bulk sales would flow to Tabitha’s Way. Although the deal had limited immediate benefits to her organization, Wendy hoped that by the time her financial base expanded, she’d have an organization that could effectively use the funds.
Wendy began her operation with a used Chevy Silverado 1500 pickup. The truck would do grocery rescue in the morning and clothing pick-up in the afternoons. The supply of clothing soon exceeded the truck’s capacity and Tabitha’s Way bought a used horse trailer for $400. Within few months the organization needed even more capacity. Wendy applied for a $20,000 grant from Walmart to buy a new truck. With the grant money, Tabitha’s Way bought a Toyota Tundra capable of carrying a couple tons of clothing, and an 18-foot storage trailer. Volunteers would sort the clothes, saving the best to stock the thrift store and put the rest in the trailer for bulk sale.
Wendy ran her operation for almost three years relying on family, friends, and volunteers. By 2013, operations had become large enough, and generated enough cash flow, to justify hiring an employee to run the thrift store. As the operation became more complex, the thrift store needed attention that Wendy did not have the bandwidth to provide. Another employee was hired to run the pantry operations. Wendy added two part-time employees in 2014 to coordinate the pantry’s grocery rescue program. With the grocery rescue program and an ongoing agreement with the Utah Food Bank (located in Salt Lake City), Tabitha’s Way was bringing in and distributing from 40 to 45 tons of food each month. In mid-2015, Wendy was approached by the owners of a local business. The owners indicated that they had watched her organization for the past five years. Their initial skepticism about Tabitha’s Way had transformed into a glowing respect. They had witnessed Wendy’s ingenuity and perseverance, and were especially impressed by her ability to get the maximum impact from the resources she was given. The company told Wendy they would donate $1 million to Tabitha’s Way over the next five years. Wendy saw that donation as another wonderful blessing that would allow her to pursue her vision to feed the hungry.
Wendy felt she needed to reevaluate the thrift store in terms of that vision. While it provided funds to support the organization, she realized that the thrift store took the time of staff members and volunteers in addition to funds to run the store and pay employees. Wendy remembered some wise council she received from a local pastor when she first opened Tabitha’s Way: “If God called you to feed the hungry, then only feed the hungry.” The thrift store had always been a means to an end, and Wendy and the board decided that the thrift store was not mission central—Tabitha’s Way provided food to the hungry.
In early 2016, the front end of the Spanish Fork pantry transformed from a clothing outlet to more of a grocery store. Food replaced clothing on all shelves and Tabitha’s Way moved from distributing prepackaged food boxes to a self-shop pantry. Self-shopping provided two advantages: when patrons chose their own food, waste decreased because families took food they would actually eat. Second, self-shopping for food provided greater dignity and respect for patrons, their circumstances, and their needs. Wendy believed deeply that choice empowered people, even if that choice was limited to which food items a family would choose.
The end of 2015 and the first half of 2016 brought more change and professionalism to Tabitha’s Way. Wendy had established a board of directors in 2010, composed of other leaders of nonprofits and community leaders. The board had always been helpful, but because these were all busy people their ability to help was bounded by multiple time commitments, and a lack of knowledge about the exact needs of the organization. Sometimes it was easier just to do the work herself rather than relying on board members. Wendy, who had never served in an executive position, had to learn to manage the board and not be managed by it. This meant replacing some members, but mostly learning to communicate her needs and desires more effectively. Managing the board helped—and forced—Wendy to become more strategic in her management of the operation. By 2016, she had come down the learning curve enough to have a stable board with the expertise she needed to move the Tabitha’s Way forward. She was also able to carve out time in her busy schedule to work on longer term, strategic challenges and plans.

Wendy helped the board break into effective committees to manage ongoing operations and strategic priorities. Board members teamed up with employees, and even volunteers, to run several committees: food drives, operations (including training employees and volunteers), volunteer coordination, special events, and development (fundraising). Wendy began to focus her efforts more on leadership (doing the right things to create organizational effectiveness) rather than management (doing things right to create organizational efficiency). An organization chart as of mid-2016 can be found in Exhibit 1.
With an active board and enough staff, many traditional-looking management systems began to emerge. Financial record keeping, for example, moved beyond meeting tax and banking requirements, and Tabitha’s Way began to record and track a variety of measures that made a difference in the lives of patrons. A part-time staff member measured a series of key out- comes to help the pantry know how it was doing and what it needed. Exhibit 2 displays some of

Tabitha’s Way Organization Chart, 2015–2016

Source: Internal documents

EXHIBIT 2 Food Intake Data, Late 2016, in Pounds
Monthly Inventory Report 2016
May June July August September October November
Food Drive 2,460 65 0 317 1,262 1,178 22,924
Utah Food Bank 43,657 41,319 30,973 27,741 22,003 21,889 27,603
Private donations 5,152 11,059 2,557 831 2,045 1,905 3,292
Grocery rescue 37,605 41,212 39,923 43,375 37,566 33,587 38,750
NC Transfer 0 0 0 4,532

Total in 88,874 93,655 73,453 77,156 62,876 58,559 92,569
Total out 87,640 97,132 77,982 79,117 59,989 56,806 73,872

In stock beginning 15,288 16,522 13,045 8,516 6,555 9,442 11,195
In stock end 16,522 13,045 8,516 6,555 9,442 11,195 29,892
Farmer food % 6 8 10 10 10 10 12

this data about food, both collections and distributions. The volunteer committee developed a volunteer application and handbook to bring on the right people, put those people on the right tasks, and instill the vision, values, and principles of the organization. Exhibit 3 describes the different volunteer positions available at the pantry, and Exhibit 4 presents parts of the volun- teer handbook.


Volunteer Opportunities and Job Descriptions

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are the heart of our organization. They are essential to any food pantry and to any noble cause. Most volunteer sessions are two or three hours. Working at the food pantry is more than just handing out food it is helping change people’s lives. We have several amazing opportunities to choose from.
The shifts we need assistance with are:
Monday Family Night from 6 pm to 7 pm
Tuesday Adopt A Pantry Night the hours of 6 pm to 8 pm (Groups Only) Tuesday through Friday between the hours of 8 am to 5 pm
Saturday between the hours of 8 am to 12 pm
Need a family project? Want meaningful service for your family? Come help us prepare our pantry for distribution and learn how this simple service has a huge impact on those in need in our com- munity. Volunteer Orientation not required for this opportunity. Reserve your Monday night now! Mondays only from 6 pm to 7 pm.
Join our Grocery Rescue Team
Are you a foodie? Do you enjoy grocery shopping? Then this job is for you! Once per week assist our team by going to local grocery stores and supermarkets to collect the food they are donating. All that is required is a vehicle. Opportunities are available daily in three hour shifts Monday through Saturday 8 am to 11 am.
Client Intake Representatives
Have you been told that you are a great listener? Do you have great problem solving skills? We would love to talk with you about this opportunity! Our Client Intake Representatives meet one on one with our new clients to establish services with them at the pantry and help refer them to other sources that they may qualify for in the community. We have opportunities are available.
Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 am -2 pm and Saturdays 10 am-Noon.
Shopping Assistant
Are you a coupon guru? Do you know how to turn a can of chili into a feast for 10? Then this job will be perfect for you. Help our clients navigate through our client choice pantry. Some clients need assistance through the process or ideas on staples that can turn into great meals. Opportunities are available in 2 hour shifts.
Tuesday between 11 am to 2 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm. Wednesday through Friday 11 am to 2 pm and Saturday 10 am to 12 pm.
Volunteer Group Leaders
Are you a natural born leader? Can you delegate tasks like a pro? Then this one is for you! On any given day there may be a dozen volunteers working in the pantry. We need volunteers with leadership experience who can guide, support, schedule and help praise our volunteers for all the tremendous service that they provide. Opportunities are available in two hour shifts.
Tuesday between 11 am to 2 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm. Wednesday through Friday 11 am to 2 pm and Saturday 10 am to 12 pm.
Help as Ambassadors with Groups in the Community
Do you have a lot of connections? Can you rally up a group with ease? Then we want you! Help coordinate and support groups like scouts, churches, and schools to provide volunteers and help with Donation Drives (food, hygiene kits, baby supplies). Positions available as needed with a time dedication of two to eight hours per week.

EXHIBIT 4 Volunteer Handbook, Selected Sections

June, 2016
Dear Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry Volunteer,
Thank you for being a part of our food pantry volunteer team and for helping make possible the services we offer to those in need in our community. We couldn’t provide our many services with- out the generous support of our volunteers.
This packet has been created to give you the information that you may need during your time of volunteering at our pantry.
Please watch for information on the bulletin board at our new Volunteer information Center. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Again, thank you for your service. Sincerely,

Wendy Osborne Executive Director

Melissa Prins
Market & Events Manager

Mark Driggs Inventory Manager

• Be a model pantry in the eyes of our clients, our peers, community leaders and key partners.
• Be recognized as a community leader in South Utah County in helping clients move towards self-sufficiency.
• Have a relationship with donors that includes food, time and money.
• Have a significant presence in the South Utah County area in multiple ways: Client awareness
Donor awareness (time, money and food) Volunteer awareness
• Be Financially strong.
• Primarily engage with volunteers for tasks that need to be done to accomplish the mission.
Operating Principles
• All efforts should be directed towards relieving hunger and food insecurity for those in need living in South Utah county.
• Funds should be managed with a high level sense of responsibility to donors’ intent.
• Operations are primarily carried out by volunteers with employees providing leadership and oversight.
• Community awareness of Tabitha’s Way services and needs is critical to our ability to fulfill our mission.
• Positive relationships with key partners and community leaders is critical to our ability to fulfill our mission.
• We are an Equal Opportunity pantry. Please treat all donors, clients and volunteers with respect and dignity.
• Please be sure to sign-in/sign-out and wear your badge each time you are here to volunteer.

Expansion into North County
As the evolution of Tabitha’s Way into a vibrant and capable organization took place, Wendy realized Tabitha’s Way needed to expand its operation. The Spanish Fork location was, figura- tively if not literally, bursting at the seams. The Main Street location provided patrons with easy access and helped embed Tabitha’s Way in the community, but the back end of the building was horrible. The building had no loading dock and the lack of a real warehouse meant that 40 tons of food had to be unloaded, stored, and moved to the front by hand. Most of the storage was in a cramped basement, and the freezers and refrigerators needed for cold storage taxed the electrical system. Tabitha’s Way leased the space and paid monthly rent, which meant that cash went out without building any equity.
In early 2015, Wendy began actively searching for a new location. A local realtor donated time to help find and handle negotiations for a new building. Serendipity played a role again as an old building in downtown Spanish Fork, less than a block away from the current loca- tion, came on the market. Tabitha’s Way could purchase the building and convert its rent into an equity-building mortgage. The new building would be easy to access for patrons and met all Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, offered more square footage with a better layout (8,000 square feet spread evenly over two floors), had a loading dock, and came with an attached cold storage facility. Tabitha’s Way closed the deal on the building in the late summer of 2016. With the donated time and expertise of local architects, engineers, and a variety of building contractors, Tabitha’s Way would be able to get into the new facility for a little more than $200,000—a fraction of the full price of such renovations. The building would be ready for occupancy by early 2017 and would dramatically increase the organization’s ability to serve South County residents. As Wendy had learned, moving to a new location would require changes to the operating procedures and routines of the organization.
Wendy had also learned another important lesson: a food pantry is an inherently local operation. The weight and cost of transporting food meant that donations usually came from local residents, businesses, or grocery stores. The limited incomes and lack of transportation among those the pantry helped feed meant that a pantry served patrons in a very small area. Tabitha’s Way had grown to serve those living in the South County area, but that meant nothing to the hungry in the North County area. Wendy believed strongly that expanding operations meant finding a way to meet needs of the hungry in Northern Utah County.
In mid-2015, two men showed up in Tabitha’s Way’s Spanish Fork location and asked to speak with Wendy. The two, each a successful business owner, had been working for four years to open a pantry in Northern Utah County. Al Switzler and Mike Carter realized the need to feed the hungry in Northern Utah County, but their efforts to start a pantry not borne fruit. Eventu- ally, they realized that although they knew a lot about business, they knew very little about running a food pantry. Their search led them to Tabitha’s Way and Wendy Osborne. Wendy readily agreed to join forces and added the two to her board. The sharing of skills proved mutually beneficial—Wendy, Al, and Mike all supplemented their own skills with the others’.
A second pantry in the northern part of the county faced a huge hurdle: finding a building that met all of the requirements. The center of Utah County had always been Provo, with Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University (originally the Central Utah Vocational School) as economic and social anchors. During World War II, the US government subsidized an inland steel mill—beyond the reach of potential Japanese bombers—in Orem and Lindon, just north of Provo. Residential, retail, and light industrial building dominated Northern Utah County, while the southern part of the county had retained its reliance on agriculture.
Northern Utah County added a strong technology component to its economic mix in the mid-1990s when the city of Lehi became the site of a Micron, now IM Flash, wafer fabrication facility. Adobe arrived in Lehi in late 2012, and Northern Utah County leaders bought into the moniker of “Silicon Slopes” to describe the emerging technology hub. In terms of community and real estate development, Northern Utah County continued to build out residential spaces, supported by light retail and school properties. Few buildings met the criteria Tabitha’s Way needed for an effective pantry.
Al and Mike’s four-year search ended in early 2016, when they found and leased a location that met all the criteria: A loading dock, a large warehouse with adequate cold storage, ADA

compliant accessibility for patrons, and adequate retail and intake space to provide food with dignity. After a few simple changes to the building, the North County pantry opened in July 2016. To mark the event, and to better represent their new mission, the organization changed its name to Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry—South (or North) County.
The organization planned to implement the same structure in the North County pantry that had proven successful in the South County location. Wendy realized that such a plan looked great on paper, but the South County structure had evolved over more than half a decade, and many elements of the pantry’s operating processes were unique to the building and the community. The operating procedures would need to change to fit the requirements of the new location, and Wendy wondered how to share operational learning and knowledge between the two locations.
She also thought deeply about community engagement. Relationships in Spanish Fork had taken years to build and mature, and the pantry worked hard to cultivate and deepen those relationships. The North County operation would be much different. This was a large-scale operation entering a new community. She needed volunteers, staff, donors, and other sources of community support, and she needed all of these soon.
As strong gust of wind howled outside, Wendy’s thoughts came back to the tasks at hand. The pantries would both deal with the natural upswing in patron visits for the Thanksgiving holiday, and the upcoming Christmas toy giveaway. These were important events to be sure, but so were the three strategic issues she could not put out of her mind. First, how should she change her own style and routines to lead two operations? How could she transfer her love—the true foundation of Tabitha’s Way—to a new group of employees, volunteers, and community leaders? How could she spend enough time in both locations to make sure her vision and passion continued to drive both pantries? How would she build a new network of volunteers and funders for the North County operation? How could she scale it quickly enough to meet the demands of the new facility? How could she, and her organization, avoid running too fast and burning out?

1Available at http://biblehub.com/acts/9-36.htm, accessed November 29, 2016.
2Definition taken from the United States Department of Agricul- ture, available at https://www.feedingtexas.org/learn/food-insecurity/, accessed November 29, 2016.
3D. Rose, “Economic Determinants and Dietary Consequences of Food Insecurity in the United States,” The Journal of Nutrition (1999) (suppl. 1998 ASNS Symposium Proceedings129.2s): 517S–520S, available at http:// search.proquest.com.erl.lib.byu.edu/docview/197442857/fulltextPDF/ D851A5D921EE4603PQ/1?accountid=4488, accessed December 23, 2016.
4M. Black, “Household Food Insecurities: Threats to Children’s Well-being,” The SES Indicator (June 2012), available at http://www
.apa.org/pi/ses/resources/indicator/2012/06/household-food-insecu- rities.aspx, accessed December 23, 2016.
5D. N. McCloskey, Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), p. 2. Income figures cited here are in 2010 dollars. That translates into roughly $3.30 for 1800, $151 for Norway, and $133 for the United States.

6Statistics in this section taken from A. Coleman-Jensen, M. Rabbitt,
C. Gregory, and A. Singh, Household Food Security in the United States in 2014. USDA, Economic Research Service (September 2015), available at http://www.arhungeralliance.org/wp-content
.pdf, accessed November 29, 2016.
8Data from Feeding America, available at http://map.feedingamerica
.org/county/2014/overall/utah/county/utah, accessed November 29, 2016.
9Data from the US Census, available at http://www.census.gov
/quickfacts/table/PST045215/49049, accessed December 23, 2016.
10A list of Utah County Food Resources, available at http://www
.foodpantries.org/ci/ut-provo, accessed December 29, 2016.
11Data taken from http://sfhs.nebo.edu/news/201602, accessed Decem- ber 26, 2016.

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