NBPA, FlintNOW, Public Health Initiative distribute 'nutrition backpacks' to Flint students

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FLINT (WJRT) - (06/06/16) - The National Basketball Players Association partnered with Pistons owner Tom Gores' FlintNOW organization and the Pediatric Public Health Initiative to distribute 8,000 'nutrition backpacks' to students at Flint schools.

Backpacks were passed out Monday to grades K-2 at Brownell STEM Academy. Inside the backpacks are a mini-basketball, information on how to eat healthy and $15 in gift certificates to the Flint Farmers' Market, which can be redeemed for an additional $15.

Pistons mascot Hooper and the Pistons' Entertainment team were on hand.

Backpacks will be distributed across the city, targeting kids in grades K-6. It's all about giving Flint families better access to nutritional foods at a time when it's so crucial.

"(It's) important for them to get diets high in iron, calcium and vitamin C, but even more important for, in the long term, for our kids to always eat healthy because great nutrition promotes brain development and great nutrition limits the release of lead," said Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, with the MSU-Hurley Children's Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative.

"We had our first meeting with Dr. Mona back in February and as a part of that very first meeting, she had mentioned this as an idea that she really wanted to pursue," said David LaFleur, with the NBPA.

The backpacks will all be passed out over the next week.

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