Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank believes that his family of businesses serve a role in contributing to the well-being of society. The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation (AFYF) was established in 1985 to serve as the philanthropic arm of the Atlanta Falcons, and today the fund is led by a group of 11 Atlanta Falcons associates who, in addition to their day-to-day roles supporting the team, make grants on behalf of AFYF and the Blank Family Foundation.
Investing across Georgia, AFYF helps nonprofit organizations reduce childhood obesity and improve youth fitness, and in 2018, they granted more than $2.7 million toward this effort, focusing on physical activity and access to fresh, healthy foods. A full list of grants is available on the Blank Foundation website, and two programs are highlighted below.
AFYF gave a two-year (2019-2020) $150,000 grant to Good Sports to donate at least $300,000 in equipment to groups seeking to remove barriers to participation in physical activity for at least 15,000 youth across Georgia.
On Feb. 22, 2019, students at Louisville Middle School in Louisville, Georgia, held a pep rally to celebrate receiving $30,000 in new sports equipment, footwear and apparel and more than $22,000 in weight room equipment as the winner of the "How Does Fitness Rule Your School" video contest.
The students submitted a video about why their school was deserving of new equipment, and AFYF committee members chose the school as the winner based on creativity, need and co-ed representation.
The 2018 food access grants from AFYF include four awards totaling $1.4 million designed to give more Georgians access to fresh healthy foods, no matter their zip code or income.
Led by Georgia Organics, the Food Oasis campaign mobilizes residents in communities across Georgia to eat, cook and grow more fruits and vegetables. AFYF granted $600,000 over three years (2018-2020) to Georgia Organics to expand the Food Oasis campaign to a statewide network of communities implementing a collection of projects and pursuing a policy agenda that together increase the number of low-income families eating, cooking and growing fruits and vegetables.
The Food Oasis campaign is currently active in three cities, including Atlanta, where neighborhood collaboration teams come together to create action plans for their communities. An example of the program at work are the Fresh MARTA Markets, pop-up farm stands at four MARTA public transport stations that help local farmers sell more produce while getting healthy, fresh food into places where people already are.
This new grant from AFYF will allow the program to expand to four new communities and host an annual statewide Food Oasis Conference.
About the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation
Investing across Georgia, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation helps nonprofit organizations reduce childhood obesity and improve youth fitness. The foundation was established in 1985 to serve as the philanthropic arm of the Atlanta Falcons. Since Arthur Blank acquired the Atlanta Falcons in 2002, the foundation has grown to be the largest owner-funded foundation in the National Football League, providing more than $20 million in grants to nonprofit organizations across the state of Georgia. The foundation is led by a committee of associates from various areas of the Atlanta Falcons.