Campus sandwich shop plans to end hunger with grilled cheese
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A warm grilled cheese delivered with a smile and paid for with a small donation makes students feel good and helps hungry people around the world.
FeelGood is much more than just a sandwich shop; it’s a nationwide charity organization that puts its cheesy profits towards solving world hunger. According to the FeelGood website, the organization’s goal is to end poverty by 2030.
Volunteers set up their stand at the junction between the tunnel and the Davis Center first floor each day from Tuesday through Friday.
Along this route between dorms and classes, FeelGood members cook up grilled cheese sandwiches from locally-sourced ingredients.
In addition to the build-your-own and classic sandwiches, they often offer specialties based on in-season veggies and sauces selected by senior Emma Taylor, FeelGood’s Deli Manager.
Though there is no set price for their creations, FeelGood’s menu sign in the Davis Center suggests a donation of $4 or $5.
“It’s true we get some people who ask for free sandwiches,” said senior Korrianne Little, president of logistics. “But on the other side of the spectrum, we get parents who hand us 20s.”
Little began her grilled cheese career during her first year at UVM, when a friend encouraged her to run for an officer position, she said. Starting as an advertising committee member, she has risen through the ranks to her current position.
She explained that her role includes making sign-ups for special events, sending out newsletters and checking volunteer schedules to keep churning out the grilled cheeses.
Officers commit about 10 hours to FeelGood every week, Little said.
“We always need more volunteers,” she said. “Officers often get burned out because they pick up extra shifts, like opening and closing.”
Shifts last about one hour and can be handled in between classes, Little said.
“I wish we had more members and that more people knew about us,” said sophomore John Zambarano, social media chair, in response to what he would change about the club. “Everyone knows us as just the ‘grilled cheese club.’”
By providing food to hungry college students, FeelGood has raised $18,643 in this academic year alone, said junior Sara Fergus, who serves as club treasurer. According to Fergus, this year’s projected earnings will be 14 percent higher than last year’s total.
Echoing other club members, “one change I would like to see: more membership,” Fergus said. “our membership used to be higher, which allowed us to power more partnership events.”
UVM FeelGood is the largest chapter in North America, and the funds it raises go to organizations that train impoverished areas in infrastructure, sustainability and long term solutions, Little said.
“If you love it, you can live and breathe FeelGood,” Fergus said. Volunteers are passionate about their work, and more than anything, want to spread the word.
“Hunger and poverty are such overwhelming issues in our world,” Little said. “FeelGood is a tangible and wholesome thing I can do to actually help people.”