Laura Cui, Kaitlin Reese, Taryn Ross

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Undergraduate student volunteers

Give these UVM students a Foreman grill and they can move the world. Tuesday and Friday afternoons in the Davis Center, an unusual blend of the culinary arts and philanthropy merge when the student volunteers of the Feel Good organization plug in their trusty Foremans to grill cheese sandwiches.

Working with bread from Klinger’s Bakery and 25 pounds of Shelburne Farms' cheddar donated every week, the group gives all of its profit — $10,000 last semester alone — to The Hunger Project and Millennium Promise.

Feel Good is a national effort with roots at the University of Texas, where it was started by a circle of cross-country runners and their friends. In 2005, they began spreading the “ending world hunger one grilled cheese at a time” concept to other universities, and there are now 11 chapters nationwide.

Illustrating the Feel Good philosophy, UVM student Grossman suggests a variation on the familiar “Give a man a fish or teach a man to fish” wisdom. “These people know how to fish, but the lake is dry or it is surrounded with barbed wire,” she says. “One of the most important things we can do is help remove obstacles that keep people from being able to help themselves.”

Doing great works with humble things

With an old-school marketing approach heavily invested in sidewalk chalk, UVM Feel Good has built itself into the leading fundraising chapter in the organization. The Vermont students typically sell in the neighborhood of 100 sandwiches each day during the two afternoons a week they’re open for business in the Davis Center.

Feel Good girls

More about Feel Good