RU FeelGood plans to hold grilled cheese fundraiser next week for humanitarian aid

<p>The last deli hosted by RUFeelGood raised between $500 and $600 towards the national organization, which used the money to provide food, shelter and water to people in need around the world.</p>

The last deli hosted by RUFeelGood raised between $500 and $600 towards the national organization, which used the money to provide food, shelter and water to people in need around the world.

Members of the Rutgers student organization RU FeelGood are working to end world hunger through the cultivation of social consciousness and skills in entrepreneurship.

FeelGood is a national organization that began in 2005 at the University of Texas at Austin and now functions through 25 active chapters on college campuses, according to their website. In the past 12 years, the organization has raised $1.82 million as part of their mission to end world hunger by 2030.

“Each chapter is responsible for fundraising money with 100 percent of the proceeds going to FeelGood's sponsor organizations such as Water for People, The Hunger Project, Pachamama Alliance and Choice Humanitarian. All of these organizations focus on providing water, food and shelter around the world,” said Jandelle Serapio, a Rutgers Business School senior and secretary of RU FeelGood, in an email.

Although the Rutgers chapter of FeelGood is new to the University, it has already exceeded fundraising goals, Serapio said.

“With hard work and enough advertising, FeelGood managed to raise about $500 to $600 from our last spring semester deli. This is one of FeelGood's greatest achievements. We are a small club at Rutgers and the amount definitely surpassed our expectations,” she said.

The largest fundraiser for the organization, which occurs each semester, is a grilled cheese sale through King Pita’s Palace in the Rutgers Student Center. Club members are responsible for everything, from buying ingredients and advertising the event to running the grilled cheese deli and preparing sandwiches.

This experience allows students to learn about entrepreneurship while contributing to the resolution of global food insecurity, said Spurthi Arashinagundi, a School of Arts and Sciences senior and deli manager for RU FeelGood.

“This event encompasses entrepreneurial and philanthropic ideologies. All the money we raise goes to our partner organizations to help sustainably end world hunger,” he said.

The next grilled cheese deli fundraiser will take place on March 8 from 2 to 6 p.m. at King Pita’s Palace in the Rutgers Student Center. A variety of grilled cheese styles will be sold at prices ranging from $3 to $5.

The organization is unique in this focus on collaboration and entrepreneurship as tools for fundraising. As members, students cultivate skills required to run a business and work with a team, said Stephanie Ng, a Rutgers Business School senior and public relations and marketing chair for RU FeelGood.

“Students can benefit from joining because you will get a lot of experience with teamwork and collaboration, as well as learning how to utilize your entrepreneurial skills in a community service oriented setting, like learning how to run your own business which is done through our big deli fundraisers, where you learn all aspects of what it takes to run one,” Ng said in an email.

Through RU FeelGood, students learn the importance of collaboration toward a common goal, which can also be beneficial in the professional world, Arashinagundi said.

As a large University, the club is made up of thousands of different people from various backgrounds, Ng said. She said it is amazing to see how the cause can bring together so many people.

In the past, the club has struggled to get their message out to the greater population of the University. Student leaders of the club said they have great things planned for the current semester and beyond which will allow more students to get involved in serving both the local and global communities.

“Last semester we tried to engage our members in more community service based activities outside of FeelGood, as well as do our best to make our general interest meetings more educational and activity based to try to get people to come to our meetings,” Ng said.

Knowing the unique benefits for members and for the community, leaders of RU FeelGood hope to expand the club in the future to positively affect a greater portion of Rutgers students.

“I hope to improve the club by encouraging others to see the values of this club and how we as college students can do something so innovative and give back to those unfortunate. FeelGood has honestly been such a great experience for me and I want to share that with other people,” Arashinagundi said.

Mary Ellen Dowd is a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. She is a contributing writer for The Daily Targum. 

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