If Tammy Bomberger’s life were a novel, its theme might be “Never give up.”
Or it might be “When people do good to you, do good to others.”
Bomberger’s life looks pretty good right now — a nice house, a loving husband, three grown kids and a three-store franchise that draws out her creative and executive skills.
But once upon a time, when her story began, her life was not rosy.
“I grew up in Northwest Pennsylvania, in Corry, Pa.,” Bomberger said recently during a phone interview from her home in Walkersville, Pa. “I grew up in a steel(-manufacturing)-type town. My parents were without jobs frequently, because it was a small town. I grew up very poor.”
Bomberger now operates three Papa Murphy’s pizza stores, one in Frederick, Md., and two in the Hagerstown area. And because her parents often relied on local food banks to feed the family, Bomberger decided to return the favor. She held a nonperishable food drive in May to benefit other familes in need.
The food drive collected 178 pounds of food, Bomberger said, all donated to the Maryland Food Bank — Western Branch, formerly known as Food Resources Inc.
Bomberger continues to support the local food bank network. She plans to place daily collection boxes at her three stores by the end of June, so customers can donate when they come in. Also, Bomberger volunteers with the Frederick County office of Maryland Food Bank — Western Branch.
She knows there’s an ongoing need.
“I just want people to be aware that everybody, no matter what stage you are, you may need the assistance of food banks,” she said. “Executives who have been pulling six figures are now out of a job because the economy is so bad. They need a way to feed their children. All the food (at food banks) is free. It’s not judgmental.”
But there’s another side of Bomberger’s efforts to make a difference to people in need. She wants to help people do as she did, and learn to build their own business.
Bomberger had to find herself pushed to the wall before she took the initiative to start her business. After high school, she joined the U.S. Air Force. She met and married her husband, had two children and tested for a staff position in the Air Force. Her life was looking good.
Then things went south. Bomberger and her husband divorced, she left the Air Force and she moved to Tennessee. She landed a job, but in short order, she was let go. The company folded. Once again facing no income while caring for her children, Bomberger decided to go with Plan B.