NEW YORK /PRNewswire/ — 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.