FeelGood organization on campus delivers sandwiches to fight world hunger

By Masaki Sugimoto

It’s easy for students to get overwhelmed on campus being constantly surrounded by political and social activists, but a new group offers an unorthodox cheesy method to end world hunger.

“Specifically I would say we focus on using social entrepreneurship to raise money to help end world hunger and world poverty in a sustainable way through making grilled cheese sandwiches,” said FeelGood Co-President Alissa Wertz, junior in ACES.

FeelGood UIUC is one of 36 FeelGood chapters worldwide. The organization sells grilled cheese sandwiches on the Quad or through their delivery service. The profits are split equally between four charities: the UN Hunger Project, the Pachamama Alliance, Water for People and Choice Humanitarian, said Wertz.

All four charities share a passion for finding innovative sustainable solutions to end world hunger and poverty.

They will be running deliveries this Sunday evening. They can be ordered from an online Square account or a Googledoc.

“World hunger just isn’t something that should happen,” said Christina Lopez, senior in LAS and FeelGood customer. “There’s enough food out there. I just want to be that one person who wants to make a difference.”

Regular Plain Jane grilled cheese sandwiches sell for $3. But the the Specialty Sandwiches, which include inventive ingredients like Nutella, vegetables and Italian meats sell for $4.

Currently the seventh most-profitable chapter, FeelGood UIUC continues to find new and innovative ways to get their message and their sandwiches out to the world. The Square account, added last year, boosted sales by 500 percent, said Wertz.

“We get a lot of social awareness. We’ve often been asked what we are raising money for, and we try to like inform people what our goals are and what we’re trying to do, and that’s one of the huge things FeelGood stands for,” Wertz said. “This is run like a start-up and an entrepreneurship.”

Former board member Roger Xiao, senior in Engineering, said the organization helped him learn about world issues and people skills.

“Not only does it give me something to do and give me leadership positions, but it teaches me a lot about world issues, about hunger,” Xiao said. “I also met a lot of interesting people, and inadvertently got involved in a lot of other things just because I knew people in the organization.”

FeelGood UIUC currently runs with a five member executive board and approximately ten volunteers. During deliveries, the team will make sandwiches through an assembly at a member’s house. They send out two delivery cars and several cyclists around campus.

For Wertz, their delivery system has become more organized in recent. They focus on attracting students across campus through music.

“I’ll be singing and taking orders and yelling out orders,” Wertz said. “It’s a big process; I would say definitely assembly-line oriented, but it’s very communal.”

Last Sunday, the team made $200 through deliveries. Their goal is to reach $1,500 by the end of the year. As the year ends most of the leadership will be leaving campus, but Wertz is hopeful the organization can grow. They are focused on improving marketing and new sandwiches, specifically an avocado-based sandwich unveiling this Sunday.

“We’re going to have to grow,” Wertz said. “We’re going to have to get our stuff together and really bring new people in, bring a new generation in. Hopefully with new ideas and new ways to do things, that’s definitely how we’ve grown so far.”

[email protected]