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Jessica (Goughler) Kearney is putting her public relations, advertising and planning skills to work to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

The School of Communication graduate student is organizing an event connecting food bank donations to the new movie The Hunger Games.

On Sunday, March 18, the first 50 people to bring a bag of non-perishable food items to the Carmike Cinemas Galleria in Pittsburgh's South Hills will receive two free passes to the 4:05 p.m. showing of The Hunger Games on March 23, the day the movie opens.

The next 50 people to donate a bag receive two free general admission passes valid to most other movies.

Kearney brought her idea to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank at the start of the semester and developed an extensive event plan over several months. As a result, the project is now set to generate donations and increase public awareness, particularly among young adults, of the food bank's programs and volunteer opportunities.

The initiative is also providing portfolio materials Kearney can take into the marketplace after finishing her studies. The Brentwood resident is completing a Master of Art in Journalism and Mass Communication this semester.

"Jessica's work is a great example of how an academic project can serve a community need," Bob O'Gara, professor of public relations and advertising and Kearney's instructor for the project.

"It is a near-perfect example of the Point Park mission of heightening the intellect of a student and serving an urgent need in the community."

The project is gaining momentum thanks to Kearney's outreach to traditional media and extensive social media campaign. She set up a Facebook public event and paid for online advertising, among other efforts.

Kearney says she was a longtime fan of The Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins and decided to use interest in the new movie as a way to help the food bank.

"It seemed like a natural connection."

She says teenagers and others who donate bags of food on March 18 will enjoy receiving the movie passes, but the real winners will be the people who rely on the food bank.

More than 120,000 people depend on the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and its affiliates each month, Kearney details in her press materials.

'The Hunger Games' food drive is being held on March 18 between 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Carmike Galleria, 500 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon, Pa., 15228. To learn more, check out the Facebook event and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank's calendar.