FLINT, Mich. – June 6, 2017 – Tom Gores’ FlintNOW initiative and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) today announced they are giving $300,000 worth of gift certificates for healthy food to Flint families through their partnership with the Michigan State University-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative.
Starting this week, 10,000 booklets will be distributed to Flint preschool and elementary school children, including charter schools, Head Start and other preschool programs that serve primarily Flint families. Each booklet contains six $5 gift certificates for the Flint Farmers’ Market and an entry form for an opportunity to win tickets to a Pistons game next season at the new Little Caesars Arena, including a meet-and-greet with a Pistons player. The Pediatric Public Health Initiative (PPHI) will also be evaluating the program with a short survey to best meet the needs of Flint families.
Funding is being provided by the NBPA Foundation and by Mr. Gores, owner of the Detroit Pistons and a Flint native who created FlintNOW as a private sector initiative to support a broad range of short and long-term relief efforts. The two groups came together with PPHI last year to distribute $240,000 worth of Farmers’ Market certificates in Flint.
Mr. Gores praised the NBPA Foundation and NBA players from around the country for their sustained commitment to Flint and its children.
“Kids and their families in Flint still need support and one of the best ways we can help is to make sure they have healthy food to eat,” said Mr. Gores. “The Pistons organization and players throughout the NBA have continued to step up. This is another example of how we can make a difference by working together.”
“We are so pleased to work with FlintNOW and PPHI again this year. Our players remain committed to the health of the children and families of Flint,” said Sherrie Deans, Executive Director of the NBPA Foundation. “This continuing partnership advances our shared goal of providing long term access to healthier food options, and a healthier future.”
The Pediatric Public Health Initiative was formed by Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital to address the Flint community’s population-wide lead exposure and help all Flint children grow up healthy and strong. The initiative is led by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, director of the pediatric residency at Hurley Children's Hospital and associate professor of pediatrics at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.
"Kids need healthy food to grow up smart and strong. More access to nutritious foods will not only help our children today, but it will make them healthy for many years to come," Hanna-Attisha said. "Flint kids are already strong, smart and healthy. We are so grateful for this partnership, which will make sure our Flint kids continue to have a bright future.”
The Detroit Pistons organization will also help distribute the packs and encourage children and families to redeem the Farmers’ Market gift certificates. Pistons legends as well as the team mascot Hooper and members of the Pistons entertainment teams are expected to help support the program throughout the summer.
The NBPA Foundation, Detroit Pistons and PPHI are also proud to support the #FlintKidsAre campaign. Artwork from the campaign is included in the nutrition booklets.
Operational support for the booklet distribution is being provided by the Flint Farmers’ Market, the Flint public schools and individual volunteers.
Participating schools include: Madison Academy, Richfield Public School Academy and Early Learning Academy, Brownell/Holmes Elementary, Doyle/Rider Elementary, Linden Charter Academy, Pierce Elementary, Durant-Tuuri-Mott Elementary, Woodland Park Academy, Eisenhower Elementary, Grand Blanc Academy and preschool, Freemont Elementary, Neithercut Elementary, Potter Elementary, Eagle’s Nest Academy, The New Standard charter school, Head Start programs in Flint including Manley Early Childhood Education Center and Cathedral of Faith; University of Michigan-Flint Early Childhood Development Center and Great Expectations at Cummings, and all Great Start Readiness Programs in Flint.