New York (AFP) - New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced Thursday he is donating $5 million to help deliver meals to the needy in Louisiana as people struggle to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The 41-year-old NFL star helped his adopted home city rebound from Hurricane Katrina devastation by leading the Saints to victory in the 2010 Super Bowl.
Brees signed a two-year contract extension worth $50 million last week with the Saints, then posted on Instagram his plan with wife Brittany to help a region where coronavirus infections and deaths have spiked in recent days.
"Brittany and I are committing $5,000,000 to the State of Louisiana in 2020," Brees posted. "The priority now is helping our communities get through this tough time.
"After considerable research and conversations with local organizations, we will be mobilizing our partnerships ... to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need.
"Let's all do our part, maintain hope, and get through this together."
Brees is an investor in multiple restaurants and a food delivery service in the area.
Saints coach Sean Payton was the first person in the NFL to be known as testing positive for coronavirus, but says he has been cleared by doctors and feels fine.
New Orleans has been hard hit by the COVID-19 virus in recent days in the wake of last month's annual Mardi Gras celebration in the city.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards thanked Brees for the support, tweeting, "On behalf of the Great State of Louisiana, we are all grateful for your family's support and generosity through this trying time. We are one Louisiana and we will get through this, together."
Brees has thrown an NFL record 6,867 completions for league records of 77,416 passing yards and 547 touchdowns as he prepares for his 20th NFL campaign.