FeelGood Boston University Vice President Katie Roughan said selling grilled cheese in the name of hunger awareness will separate her group from others, and successfully gather student support toward giving back to the community.
“Instead of just getting students’ attention with information we couple the information with grilled cheese,” Roughan, a School of Management junior, said. “It makes people stop and hopefully listen to our cause — because, let’s face it, all of us have places to be and not many of us have the time to stop and listen.”
FeelGood BU, a student group geared toward food and hunger, will begin selling grilled cheese sandwiches Thursday at the Warren Towers Late Night Café after a year of planning, said FeelGood BU President Shannon Kelliher.
“We have been an official student group since fall,” Kelliher, a College of Arts and Sciences senior, said. “We are going to run a nonprofit grilled cheese deli out of the late-night dining hall to raise hunger awareness.”
Each grilled cheese will cost $5, Kelliher said.
“BU Dining [Services] is donating all the food products to us,” she said. “BU Dining has really supported us through the whole process because we have run into quite a few issues and, at times, we thought this really wasn’t going to be possible.”
FeelGood BU is a local division of the national group, Feel Good World.
“The whole premise is the grilled cheese thing,” Kelliher said. “Each chapter has its own grilled cheese deli. They have a crazy customer base.”
Proceeds will go to CHOICE Humanitarian and the Hunger Project, Kelliher said. FeelGood BU is also free to sponsor events locally and partner with other local organizations to share similar messages for hunger awareness.
“We chose to work with CHOICE Humanitarian and the Hunger Project because they have great policies and done great things for alleviating poverty,” Kelliher said. “Our motto is ‘Ending World Hunger one grilled cheese at a time.’”
FeelGood BU Treasurer Justin Donahue, an SMG junior, said the strategy has been successful on other college campuses such as the University of Vermont, University of California, Berkeley and the University of Pittsburgh.
“We would like to differentiate that we are not really about charity,” he said. “We are an empowerment organization out to teach communities about sustainable food growth and hunger awareness.”
FeelGood BU is comprised of seven executive board positions and about 30 regular members, Donahue said.
“All of our members tend to show all the responsibilities, whether it be working the deli or fundraising efforts,” Donahue said. “We work more as a team as opposed to a specific assigned role.”
Roughan said coupling grilled cheese with charity gives students the immediate satisfaction of a sandwich and a chance for FeelGood BU to explain their goals.
“[Students] can’t always donate money because we’re college students, but with [FeelGood BU] you get something in return immediately,” Roughan said. “We give students the benefit of enjoying a grilled cheese while learning about out message.”
FeelGood BU’s goal is to be well known across campus, Donahue said.
“What we would like is to have an output and reach the status of some of the well-known chapters around the country,” Donahue said. “Some have very wide recognition across their entire schools like UVM.”
He said FeelGood BU has worked extensively with large chapters in the U.S. to get the group operational.
“Something about people taking control of their own project makes their company more sustainable,” Donahue said. “We are just one chapter of Feel Good World.