GENYOUth, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to creating healthier school communities, announced today the establishment of the COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Fund to assist schools nationwide as they strive to provide school meals containing essential nutrition to students during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Approximately 124,000 U.S. public and private schools across the nation are now closed as a result of COVID-19 but they remain a critical source for the 30 million students who rely on school meals for a substantial portion of their daily nutrition. Across the nation, school nutrition professionals and volunteers are adopting new methods of delivering healthy meals during school closures, employing a variety of solutions – grab and go, drive through pick-up, bus stop drop-off and summer meal sites – to ensure students receive the vital nutrition they need. While federal funding continues to support school feeding programs, additional funding is crucial to provide schools with the necessary resources for food storage, single-serve packaging, distribution, delivery and sanitation/safety protective gear as they adapt to new means of delivering healthy meals to feed our nation's children.
To meet this unprecedented need, GENYOUth is launching a national campaign and movement, "For Schools' Sake – Help Us Feed Our Nation's Kids!" This is a national call-to-action for corporations, foundations, athletes, influencers and individuals to raise their hands with urgency and compassion to support the COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Fund and spread the word to help feed the need #ForSchoolsSake. They can do this by making a donation at www.genyouthnow.org and by posting pictures with their hands raised in support for school nutrition professionals and volunteers on their social media channels.
The campaign also invites schools to apply for grants of up to $3,000 per school feeding site to purchase supplies for meal distribution and delivery. Schools can apply at https://COVID-19.genyouthnow.org/.
"I cannot underscore how critical the need is right now for the 30 million kids who rely on school meals. The demands are urgent and time-sensitive to support our front-line school nutrition workers as they feed our nation's students," said Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth. "To date, beginning with the support of America's Dairy Farmers, the NFL Foundation and purpose-driven corporations, we have raised almost $3 million to provide critical resources to schools across the nation. By raising your hand and donating to this fund, we can ignite a movement that will benefit tens of millions of students."
In addition to the generous commitments from America's Dairy Farmers, initial commitments from top corporations and foundations include the American Beverage Association, Arby's Foundation, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, NFL Foundation, PayPal, PepsiCo Foundation and TD Ameritrade. Their support provides a solid foundational starting point knowing the urgency to raise millions of dollars to meet the unprecedented demand is great.
"One of the most important things right now is making sure children across the country who rely on school for their meals are receiving the nutrition they need," said NFL Commissioner and GENYOUth Board Member Roger Goodell. "It's critical that meals are distributed safely to the students who need it most and we're proud to support our partner GENYOUth who is making that happen."
"America's Dairy Farmers have had a long-standing commitment to youth wellness for over a century," says Audrey Donahoe, dairy farmer, and Chair of National Dairy Council. "I am proud of our continued commitment to the front-line workers feeding our nation's youth – the school nutrition personnel and volunteers – who help schools at the grass roots level flourish by increasing access to school meals during this most critical time."
Since GENYOUth's inception almost a decade ago, the non-profit has provided $100 million in grants and equipment to schools. With GENYOUth's extensive network of schools, through its flagship program, Fuel Up to Play 60, and with the help of generous donors, an immediate and substantial impact can be made to support U.S. school communities during this unprecedented time.
GENYOUth is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that creates healthier school communities. We convene a network of private and public partners, including Fortune 100 companies and foundations, to raise funds for youth wellness initiatives that give youth the inspiration, motivation and programs to be healthy high-achieving students. GENYOUth's flagship program, Fuel Up to Play 60, enrolls over 73,000 U.S. schools, reaching over 38 million students. Our school nutrition grants increase access to healthy school meals among food insecure students. NFL FLAG-In-School is GENYOUth's fastest growing program with over 20,000+ school communities reaching over 11 million students while AdVenture Capital brings out the entrepreneurial spirit and creativity of students with the support of corporate mentors to solve real world problems. For more information about GENYOUth or to make a donation, visit www.genyouthnow.org.
About the NFL Foundation
The National Football League Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football – from players at all levels to communities across the country. The NFL Foundation represents the 32 NFL clubs and supports the health, safety and wellness of athletes, youth football, and the communities that support our game. For more information on the NFL Foundation, visit: www.NFLFoundation.org.
About National Dairy Council
National Dairy Council (NDC) is the non-profit organization dedicated to bringing to life the dairy community's shared vision of a healthy, happy, sustainable world – with science as the foundation. NDC provides science-based nutrition information to, and in collaboration with, a variety of stakeholders committed to fostering a healthier nation, including health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and media. NDC has taken a leadership role in promoting child health and wellness through programs such as Fuel Up to Play 60. Developed by NDC and the National Football League (NFL), Fuel Up to Play 60 encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. For more information, visit www.NationalDairyCouncil.org.