The NFL is partnering with each of its teams to bring grant money to school districts or individual schools in an effort to facilitate sustainable physical activity and healthy eating improvements.
The $10,000 per team grant, dubbed 'Hometown,' comes with a few bonuses, as well - a visit from the Saints' defensive end and annual 'Walter Payton Man of the Year' award nominee Cam Jordan, as well as 30 flag football kits for kids in grades 3-6 throughout the parish.
The parish has exactly 30 elementary and junior high sites.
Leah Felder Smith, supervisor of child nutrition, and Sommer Purvis, special programs administrator, made the announcement at the school board's regular meeting October 17, which occurred a little early, starting at 4 p.m.
"We don't actually apply for this grant," Purvis said, "they reached out to us."
Jordan will visit Albany Middle School (29675 Reeves St., Albany LA 70711) on Tuesday, October 29 at 9:30 a.m. as part of Dairy MAX's Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign for a special pep rally. The NFL and local dairy councils collaborate on these grants to build stronger relationships in communities while helping kids "fuel greatness," the press release said.
The funds from Hometown Grants can be utilized by the receiving schools in many ways to optimize healthy eating and physical activity based on local needs and interests. This could range from bending machine wraps to supporting smart snacking, improving schools breakfasts and summer feeding programs, as well as physical activity equipment, the release said.
Select students will be invited to participate in some mock NFL drills with Jordan during his official visit with the school.
The Livingston Parish Public School system will be working through the grant with their Child Nutrition Program to add grab-and-go carts to schools to make mealtime - specifically breakfast - more efficient.
Purvis and Smith said that there will be money left over from the grant, and they have a surprise for the system.
According to Purvis, there are approval pieces they have to pass before they can formally announce their plans - but she and Smith feel confident about their project at this time.