Dairy MAX, New Orleans Saints Provide $50K in Emergency Grants to Louisiana Schools in response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Mar 31, 2020
Cam Jordan with a sign that says "COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Fund"

In response to the current coronavirus pandemic, Dairy MAX and the New Orleans Saints—in partnership with GENYOUth—will contribute $50,000 to the COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Fund to support local schools with the purchase of resources needed to provide continued school meal programs. Each school can receive up to $3,000 in grant funds, and the application can be accessed at https://covid-19.genyouthnow.org/.

School closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic are taking a serious toll on more than 55 million students nationwide, especially the 500,000+ local students who depend on school meals for their daily nutrition. While 124,000 public and private schools are closed nationwide, school districts recognize the importance of maintaining continuity of school meal programs and are providing meals through grab and go, drive through pick up, bus stop delivery and summer meal sites. The COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Fund has been put in place to help schools purchase 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 our nation’s children. A comprehensive list of Louisiana schools providing meals can be found at https://cnp.doe.louisiana.gov/ServingSites/.

“We are fortunate to have great partners like the New Orleans Saints, Dairy MAX and GENYOUth," Livingston Parish assistant superintendent, Jody Purvis said. "Since the start of the school closures over two weeks ago one of our major priorities has been making sure the students in our parish have enough food to eat. We started providing meals immediately within several of our schools and have served over 25,000 meals. These grants will further help schools meet that need in providing nutritious options for all of students."

Local dairy farmers—in partnership with the New Orleans Saints—have been supporting childhood nutrition initiatives for years. “As a dairy farmer, caring for my community and the next generation are huge priorities,” said Susie Sharkey, dairy farmer and Dairy MAX board member. “Making sure kids are fed, especially during this time, is something we all should commit to.”

The COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Fund will be executed as part of the Fuel Up To Play 60 program, the nation’s largest in-school program promoting student health and wellness. The program is supported locally by Dairy MAX and the New Orleans Saints and will offer each school up to $3,000 in grant funds, administered by GENYOUth.

Applications will be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis, and schools can access the application at https://covid-19.genyouthnow.org/. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Below are FAQs to help address any additional questions:

  1. Who is eligible to receive the grant funds?
    • The COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Fund is available to schools across the country.
  2. What can schools purchase with State and Region funds from the COVID-19 School Nutrition Fund?
    • Equipment for cold storage of milk or other perishable items (e.g., coolers, insulated bags, refrigerators or freezers, etc.)
    • Equipment for transporting or serving food or milk (e.g., breakfast cart/ kiosk, travel carts to move food, serving tables, cardboard boxes, paper/plastic bags, etc.)
    • Sanitation equipment (cleaning supplies, hand sanitizing dispensers, rubber gloves, etc.)
    • Cafeteria equipment for preparation of food (e.g., food prep equipment, slicers, etc.)
    • Stipends for Staff
  3. How long will the application process last?
    Applications will be approved on a rolling basis.
  4. How will GENYOUth determine which schools get the grants?
    GENYOUth will score applications using a rubric that gives points for 1) number of students served, 2) percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch, 3) number of meals per day served and 4) a description of how funds will be used.