Secret Meals For Hungry Children hosts weeklong donation drive

Graphic+courtesy+of+Secret+Meals+for+Hungry+Children

Graphic courtesy of Secret Meals for Hungry Children

Rebecca Griesbach | @rebach97, News Editor

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a local non-profit is providing food to first responders and their families in addition to offering curbside pickup of food packs. They are also collaborating with local schools, the Boys and Girls Club and the West Alabama Food Bank to serve local communities.

Beginning Saturday, April 11, Secret Meals For Hungry Children is partnering with students at the University of Alabama to host a weeklong effort on Facebook titled Backpack Bingo. The effort aims to gather donations for both children currently going without school lunches and those fighting on the front lines to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Originally scheduled to be an in-person bingo night at Heat Pizza Bar, the bingo event has been transformed into an online event in accordance with social distancing guidelines stemming from COVID-19.

Secret Meals is dedicated to feeding hungry children across the states of Alabama and Florida. The organization was created by the Alabama Credit Union dedicated to feeding hungry children across Alabama and Florida. For the past 12 years, Secret Meals has provided food packs every Friday to children identified by school officials as having food insecurities.

Food insecurity describes a lack of financial resources available for food at the household level. According to 2017 data from Feeding America, an organization working to end childhood hunger, over one in five children in Alabama are food insecure. But, with thousands of Alabamians suddenly out of work, local food banks are facing a heightened need for food resources.

“We look forward to helping Secret Meals accomplish its mission of ending childhood hunger,” said Jackson Fuentes, a student volunteer and a junior majoring in public relations and political science. “During these extraordinarily challenging times, it has been more than encouraging to see the community come together behind causes such as this. We encourage any and all to donate what they can.”

Secret Meals has made it their mission to reduce the amount of children going hungry on weekends. Currently, around 2,500 students receive food packs weekly on behalf of Secret Meals. It costs $140 to feed one child for an entire school year or $3-$4 to feed one child per weekend. All donations to Secret Meals go toward the purchasing of food for children in need. Alabama Credit Union covers all promotional and organizational costs so every cent donated is able to go toward the purchasing of food packs.

Venmo donations can be made to @Secret-Meals-2. In addition to virtual donations, the Alabama Credit Union will be accepting checks made out to Secret Meals For Hungry Children via mail. Information and updates regarding the effort will be available on the Facebook event page.

For more COVID-19 resources and ways to donate, visit our resource guide.