Preview: Taste of Tuscaloosa silent auction raises money to fight childhood food insecurity

Alyssa Schubert, Staff Reporter

On Nov. 9, Taste of Tuscaloosa: Showcasing Local Traditions to Benefit Secret Meals will be teaming up with Secret Meals For Hungry Children to host a silent auction and dinner to benefit children facing food insecurity.  

     Who: Taste of Tuscaloosa: Showcasing Local Traditions to Benefit Secret Meals 

     What: Silent Auction Benefit and Celebration 

     When: Nov. 9, 5-7 p.m. 

     Where: Moe’s Original BBQ on University Boulevard 

Open to the public, Taste of Tuscaloosa is a weeklong celebration of the local businesses and organizations that make Tuscaloosa great, and 100% of the proceeds benefit Secret Meals.  

Started by Alabama Credit Union in 2008, Secret Meals For Hungry Children is a program that aims to decrease the number of students throughout Alabama and Northern Florida without access to meals on weekends. They create vitamin-fortified and child-friendly food packs that are discreetly slipped into children’s backpacks by school professionals who know how to spot food insecurity. 

“Many students rely on free and reduced breakfast and lunch during the school week, but when the weekend comes, there is a nutritional gap,” stated the flyer for the event. 

The final celebration of Taste of Tuscaloosa on Nov. 9 is free to attend and invites attendees to enjoy BBQ from Moe’s while the auction takes place.  

Maddie Drummer, a senior at The University of Alabama majoring in public relations, is the team leader for this event. Part of her job involves being the main client and media contact, while keeping Secret Meals updated on all planning processes and event updates.  

“There are multiple percentage days during a two-week period where different companies in Tuscaloosa will give us percentages of money earned during the event. The auction is in addition to these percentage nights and the hope is to raise awareness for Secret Meals for Hungry Children,” Drummer said.  

As part of the silent auction, eventgoers can enjoy special items that have been donated by various Tuscaloosa businesses and venues. The silent auction will include sponsored baskets from around Tuscaloosa, including sponsors like Alabama Vintage, The Veganish Market and Ernest & Hadley Booksellers. All of the items will be available to bid on, and one winner will be able to take each basket home at the end of the event. 

“Some of the items we will have include signed items from UA coaches, such as Nick Saban and Nate Oats, and Chase Rice tickets that were donated by Druid City Music Hall,” Drummer said. 

Taste of Tuscaloosa is an event created by public relations students in The University of Alabama’s Department of Advertising and Public Relations, which creates events to raise money for Secret Meals in the fall and spring semesters. 

“I am so proud of this particular group because they have done such a wonderful job stitching together such a unique event that showcases all of the best of Tuscaloosa and at the same time helps our local children,” said Susan Daria, a public relations professor at the University.  

All auction money received at the event will go toward feeding children across the state of Alabama through Secret Meals. According to the event’s flyer, “It takes $140 to feed a single child every weekend for the entire school year.”  

Taste of Tuscaloosa welcomes everyone to participate in the silent auction. To donate directly, Venmo @TasteofTuscaloosa. To stay up to date and get information about the event, follow @Taste_of_Tuscaloosa on Instagram.