UA students host “Friendsgiving to Feed” to benefit local children

Rachel Seale, Contributing Writer

Advertising and public relations students at The University of Alabama are hosting “Friendsgiving to Feed” at Druid City Social on Nov. 9 from 5-9 p.m. All proceeds will go to Secret Meals for Hungry Children.  

The Secret Meals program is the primary charity run by Alabama Credit Union. Secret Meals’ community involvement coordinator, Nicole Fulgham said Secret Meals provides food packs for children who have been identified as going hungry over the weekends.  

Fulgham said the children are nominated by their teachers or counselors for food packs, however the children’s names are never released to Secret Meals. Volunteers pack the food at the West Alabama Food Bank and deliver it to the schools, where they are distributed to students in need. 

“We really want to spread the word about food insecurity in our community,” Fulgham said. 

Students in APR 419, Public Relations Concepting and Implementation, are hosting “Friendsgiving to Feed” to raise money for Secret Meals and gain experience with real-world clients. 

Friendsgiving to Feed Team Leader, Jenevieve Viselli said the event will feature live music, including the band Midnight Steel. She said other activities that will be offered include cornhole, cup pong and face painting. Prizes can also be won at games and a raffle. 

Viselli said 1 in 4 children go hungry, but it only takes $140 to feed one kid each weekend for the entire year. 

“I hope that we can raise both money and awareness,” Viselli said. 

Viselli said tickets will cost $10 at the door or they can be bought presale through Venmo, which will give guests an extra entry into the raffle. She said guests can Venmo $10 to @FriendsgivingToFeed and they should include “ticket” in the description line. She said there will also be a discounted drink menu for attendees of age and guests under 21 years will receive free soft drinks.  

Advertising and public relations professor Susan Daria said her students have raised about $250,000 for children in West Alabama since 2011. She said the Secret Meals program is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn how to use their public relations ability to help the community.  

“I hope that even more people learn not only that food insecurity is a problem in our community, but that the Alabama PR students are doing all they can do to help,” Daria said. 

Daria said she hopes her students will use this partnership to make a difference, as well as learn to communicate and build relationships.  

“It’s my favorite class to teach because I see so much growth from start to finish,” Daria said.  

She also said local restaurants, including Foosackly’s, Mugshots and Insomnia Cookies, will be donating food to the event, which will offer a friendly, fall-themed atmosphere to raise awareness for Secret Meals.