Chartwells Islander Dining Inspires One Million Acts of Good

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Food often speaks to the soul. Whether it’s a meal prepared by a beloved family member or an afternoon snack in the Islander Dining Hall, everyone speaks the same language when sharing a good meal. But for some, getting a good meal isn’t always easy. 

“As the food service provider at the University, fighting food insecurity is something that is close to our hearts,” shared Amanda Hall, Chartwells Islander Dining Manager of Marketing and Guest Experience. “So participating in the One million Acts of Good event was the perfect opportunity for us to connect with our Islanders through food.”

On March 6, Islander students, faculty and staff packed 300 “matter” boxes during Chartwells Islander Dining One Million Acts of Good event held in response to The Ellen DeGeneres show and Cheerios teaming up to inspire one million acts of good within the world. Chartwells Islander Dining took action by filling the “matter” boxes with nutritious food and words of encouragement. Chartwells, who is also the food service provider for more than 270 universities around the nation, hoped to inspire their volunteers to continue doing random acts of kindness as well as bring more awareness to the problem of food insecurity.

“You never truly know what others are going through,” said Hall. “Some people struggle with finding the means to nourish their bodies and that person could be the student sitting next to you in class.”

One student inspired to help was Chi Quach, a senior double majoring in marketing and finance, who says she knows what it feels like to go hungry.

“I’m not from America. I came here with my mom and my sister when I was six and because we didn’t know English, we couldn’t get jobs,” shared Quach.

She went on to explain how both her mother and sister had to work extensive hours to help make ends meet – leaving her home alone from a very young age. 

“I had to learn how to cook for myself or do whatever I could to get food,” said Quach. “It’s tough to know that being in this country, where food is so accessible, there are still times when it is hard to get it.”

Quach, who filled several boxes during the event, added special notes of encouragement to brighten each recipient’s day. “With all things believe that there is someone who cares,” “TAMU-CC loves you,” “there is strength in numbers” and “you aren’t alone” were just a few of the encouraging words Islanders packed into the boxes along with nutrition guidelines. Snacks chosen to go into the boxes were selected because they were low in sugar but nutrient dense. The boxes were then donated to the Coastal Bend Food Bank and Izzy’s Food Pantry.

In addition to events like One Million Acts of Good, Chartwells organizes multiple informational programs for Islander students. From hosting a farmer’s market to holding a monthly educational series in partnership with Grow Local South Texas, they are always looking for new and innovative ways to make food exciting at the Island University. But Hall attributes all of their success to the passionate campus community and the volunteers who came out to pack all 300 “matter” boxes.

“I want to give a sincere thank you to all of the departments, students, faculty and staff that came out to support this amazing initiative. But I especially want to say thank you to Islanders Athletics, they were the first group to say they would help us out,” said Hall. “We have an amazing campus and I am thankful that everyone here is so dedicated to letting our students know they are loved and welcomed.”