Funding Food for Families: Secret Meals Help Children in Need


CULLMAN – Every year in Alabama, as many as 450,000 children will require free lunches in our school systems due to low income. Many children depend on the two meals they receive from schools, and struggle on weekends when food is not always guaranteed. That is what motivated the Alabama Credit Union to act.


The Alabama Credit Union started a non-profit program around five years ago called Secret Meals. Laurie Legg, supervisor for the Cullman branch, says the program is designed to help ensure that children are getting the nutrition they need outside of schools.


“The secret meals program is Alabama Credit Union’s give back to the community charity,” Legg said. “It is our non-profit organization that we chose to start about five years ago. We feed children that have been found to come in on Monday hungry or leave on Friday needing food.”


Legg went on to say that it is the teachers or counselors that are the ones to help select students that are in need.


“The teachers and counselors know that those children are going without food over the weekend,” said Legg. “So we get little backpacks of food, and the counselors sneak them into their backpacks, and that is why it is called secret meals.”


The Alabama Credit Union holds several fundraisers throughout the year from bake sales to car shows. The organization is always trying to raise more money so that they can help more children throughout the area. This year, a car show was held at the Cullman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership, located on Al. Hwy 278, in conjunction with Pentastar Car Club to raise funds for the secret meals program.


“Each year the Pentastar Car Club will do a car show and choose a charity, and this year we just by chance chose secret meals,” said Brenda Allison, organizer for Pentastar. “I had gone into the bank, and Laurie and I just started talking. Then secret meals came up, and I said okay, this is what we need to do this year.”


After speaking with her fellow club members about the charity, everyone was in agreement that this charity would be the one.


“Being a teacher myself, this is something I see every day,” Allison said. “So it is something I feel very strongly about. Dodge has been really helpful, and has really helped to get things going, and we have had people as far as Louisiana come to the show.”


A great turn-out of 60 cars entered the show, and all the participants were thrilled to hear about the wonderful cause the proceeds were going to. Donations from the public can also be made to the organization through a PayPal account on their website at


“This has been awesome because it raises awareness of these children that are going hungry all over the state of Alabama,” Legg said, speaking about Dodge and Pentastar’s involvement.


“Having people that care enough, and go through all the trouble, and the blood, sweat and tears that it takes to put on an event like this and then to give all your proceeds. It really touches my heart and everyone at Alabama Credit Union’s heart.”