Using Supply Chain to Fight Food Insecurity

Nicole Carvagno

When the 2020 lockdowns began as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nicole Carvagno spent most of her days within the four walls of her dorm room, attending classes virtually. A first-year student at the time, Carvagno’s desire to leave the confines of her dorm drew her to volunteer at Smokey’s Pantry, a UT-based food resource operated by Tyson House Ministries that serves students and the general community.

“I’ve always been interested in food insecurity because many people struggle with it in the small town where I grew up,” Carvagno says. Now the pantry’s director, she runs shifts, helps volunteers, accepts donations, and manages communications with similar organizations in the area. “I love doing this because I get to meet people and hear their stories. It’s incredibly fulfilling to me—doing something that makes a real, tangible difference in people’s lives.”

Carvagno’s administrative and organizational skills play out in her academics, too. A senior in supply chain management, she says her interest in logistics emerged when she was put in charge of the supply room in her high school’s JROTC program. Carvagno helped plan trips to competitions and coordinated needed items for each person. “I loved doing that and realized supply chain management would be a great career path for me,” she explains. “I think it’s super interesting, and I wanted a field where there is job security and the option to travel.”

While part of the Greg & Lisa Smith Global Leadership Scholars program, Carvagno served as a supply chain intern with Climpson & Sons in London, England. Since then, she’s completed two more internships with P&G in Cincinnati, Ohio, gaining a breadth of experience from balancing truck scales to digitizing paper documents and tracking and automating inventory management. “The inventory tracking projects were a lot of fun and gave me opportunities to collaborate with others and learn how to use different software tools,” she says. “Between the two internships, I got a taste of the factory and also of corporate America.”

When she graduates in May, Carvagno will return to P&G’s Cincinnati headquarters in a full-time role. Her long-term goals are to continue fighting food insecurity and advocating for environmental sustainability. “I’d love to help make the supply chain more efficient, which is always the goal, and to push for more sustainable choices in sources, transportation, and work,” she says “It’s important to me to make a difference, even if it’s just in one person’s life.”

Other Stories from this issue