I don’t think I’ve ever been as inspired in my work on the Earth Dinner project as I have since we began nationally partnering with FeelGood in 2011. FeelGood is a non-profit that helps students set up non-profit grilled cheese delis where all proceeds are donated to charities that fight global hunger. For the past few years, FeelGood delis at (thus far) 19 schools have used the Earth Dinner theme to educate students, professors and staff on their campuses about what hunger looks like here at home (hint: it’s looks different than it does around the world) and how having strong local food systems is a key to fighting local hunger. As usual, all proceeds go to organizations that fight hunger.
During Earth Weeks past, FeelGood chapters have hosted large sit-down dinners with panels or keynote speakers, small social hours, outdoor delis at Earth Week fairs, chapter member activities where they talk about food issues together, and so many more variations. Some host it alone and some partner with other campus organizations. Many chapters have hosted for multiple years in a row. We want to especially recognize the Columbia University chapter, which was involved with Organic Valley before we made our partnership a national one that would revolve around annual Earth Dinners. Kudos to you!
Events big or small involve grilled cheese sandwiches made with local cheese and local bread if they can find it—a simple recipe that brings out the child in all of us and memories of grilled cheeses our parents used to make for us with love. And who doesn’t have an opinion on which is better: rectangles or triangles? (P.S., share your opinion in the comments!)
Interacting with the student leaders and headquarters staff and hearing their excitement for their events inspires me every year. These young leaders are already making a difference in their communities, and I can’t wait to hear what beautiful chaos they create once they are unleashed upon the big, wide world. To take a few words from Dr. Seuess, “You’ll move mountains, kid!”
If you live in a city with a FeelGood chapter, I hope you’ll go support them at any time of year. If you’re able to attend their Earth Dinner activity, share your experience with us below!