Over the past 13 semesters, University of Alabama advertising and public relations students have raised more than $135,000 to feed Alabama K-12 students in a partnership with Secret Meals for Hungry Children.
Students enrolled in APR 419, Public Relations Concepting and Implementation, organize and promote a series of fundraisers, partnering with local restaurants and entertainment venues to provide money benefiting the organization. To date, these students have collected more than 2,750 service learning hours.
Senior public relations student Marielle Mathé of Fort Lauderdale worked with her class group to produce the Secret Meals Block Party, an event including dinner at Philly Boyz on the Strip and no cover charge at selected, surrounding establishments with wristband purchase.
“Working with Secret Meals for Hungry Children has helped my group members and me understand that our job as PR professionals is not always about making a profit for ourselves,” said Mathé. “Using our class time to both learn how to manage an event and make a difference in a child’s life has been an eye-opening and worthwhile experience.”
In the state of Alabama, 1 in 4 children do not know where their next meal is coming from. While these students receive meals for breakfast and lunch during school hours, they are not guaranteed food over the weekend. Secret Meals helps bridge the gap for these students by providing food packs for the weekend, discretely placed in their backpacks by their teachers.
It takes $140 to feed a hungry child every weekend for an entire school year, and 100 percent of donations to Secret Meals goes toward the purchase of weekend food packs.
Secret Meals for Hungry Children is a 501(c)3 organization that has been providing meals for Alabama students since 2008. To learn more about the organization or donate, visit www.secretmeals.org.
The department of advertising and public relations is a part of the College of Communication and Information Sciences.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.