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Secret Meals Shuffle 5K will help to feed children

MADISON – Secret Meals For Hungry Children is giving runners across the state the chance to join in the fight against hunger by participating in the Secret Meals Shuffle 5K on Sept. 16.

In 2008, Alabama Credit Union created the Secret Meals For Hungry Children program with one goal in mind — decreasing the number of children in Alabama and Florida facing hunger over the weekend. Through partnerships with local food banks, the commitment has continued to grow stronger.

The Secret Meals Shuffle 5K on Sept. 16 will be held on the campus of the University of Alabama in Huntsville at 8 a.m. Participants will run a certified route through the UAH campus. In conjunction with the 5K, St. Thomas Episcopal Church will host the Kids Zone with a super hero theme.

Early check-in for shuffle participants will begin Sept. 15 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the UAH branch of Alabama Credit Union, 851 John Wright Drive. Packet pick-up on race day will start at 7 a.m. and end promptly at 7:30 a.m.

Families are encouraged to join Secret Meals supporters after the race at the finish line for refreshments and activities that families will enjoy.

“This event is great for athletes of all ages and all athletic abilities,” June Landrum said. Landrum serves as North Alabama representative for Secret Meals. “Most importantly, we want everyone to have a great time and know they are making a positive difference in the lives of elementary school children in our community.”

Alabama and Florida have one of the highest poverty rates in the country, Landrum said, with 22 percent of children in both states living below the poverty level. Currently, 2,312 students are receiving Secret Meals food packs across Alabama and into Florida.

To-date, Secret Meals officials have not denied a request to increase the number of children enrolled in the program. The average cost for an entire school year to provide a weekend food pack to one child is $140. Officials have identified these children as going hungry.

“For many of these children, receiving free or reduced breakfast and lunch from their schools is the only way for them to receive steady meals. This means that many children will go hungry over the weekend,” Landrum said.

Registration fee for the Secret Meals Shuffle 5K is $25, which includes a T-shirt, guaranteed for first 100 registrations, along with a race bag. Registrations on race day will cost $35. To register for the 5K, visit SecretMeals.org.

To donate to Secret Meals for Hungry Children, visit any Alabama Credit Union branch or SecretMeals.org. For more information, email secretmeals@alabamacu.com.

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