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How Tan’s Treats Ensures Tanner’s Memory Lives on One Meal at a Time

By Marissa Tinter

When Tanner Holt was in elementary school, he would often come home hungry. Eventually, his mom learned that Tanner had been giving his lunch away to someone in his class who didn’t have anything to eat. So, for the rest of the year, Tanner’s mom sent him to school with two lunches – one for him, and one for his friend. Throughout his childhood, teenage and early adult years, Tanner spent much of his time helping those around him.

After Tanner was tragically killed in a plane crash at just 23 years old, his family and friends created a non-profit organization — Tan’s Treats— to celebrate his legacy and continue his work in the community by providing meals to hungry children. What began in 2016, with Tanner’s family and friends serving 50 children each week, has grown thanks to the support of the St. George, Utah, community. They now provide nearly 7,000 meals per week to food-insecure children in Southern Utah during the school year.

Tanner’s story and his legacy hit home with the community in the Southern Utah area, particularly for Shannon Gardner, an Arby’s District Manager, whose stores actively participate in the twice-yearly Make A Difference fundraising effort for the Arby’s Foundation.

“Tan’s Treats provides meals to children at more than 10 schools here in Southern Utah to bridge the gap over the weekend and extended holidays,” Shannon said. “We were thrilled to use funds raised during the Make a Difference Campaign to support this worthwhile cause.”

With the help of a $10,000 grant from the Arby’s Foundation, Tan’s Treats will be able to supply 40,000 additional meals to local children in need.

“It’s absolutely amazing to see the network of support that Tan’s Treats receives from the community. Without volunteer support and grants like the one received from the Arby’s Foundation, we could not be successful. We are beyond grateful for the support of the Arby’s Foundation and so many others,” Zach Holt, Tanner’s brother and the Managing Director and Treasurer of Tan’s Treats, said.

As part of the 2019 Make a Difference Campaign, the Arby’s Foundation will donate nearly $6 million to youth-serving non-profit organizations across the country.

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