With the novel coronavirus taking hold in New Orleans and Louisiana, Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his wife pledged $5 million to help “our communities get through this tough time.”

A number of athletes and teams have stepped up to offer help during the coronavirus outbreak, but for Brees, the decision is the latest example of an unusually strong relationship between an athlete and the community in which he plays. It’s a relationship that began when he signed with the Saints in the spring of 2006 after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city the previous summer. As the city rebuilt itself, Brees found his career reborn, and he led the Saints to a Super Bowl win in the 2009 season. After completing what he called “the daunting task” of figuring how to help in the wake of covid-19, Brees came up with an answer, marking his announcement with an image of a map of Louisiana.

“After considerable research and conversations with local organizations, we will be mobilizing our partnerships with Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health Systems, Walk-Ons, Jimmy Johns, Smalls Sliders and Waitr 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,” he wrote on Instagram.

Brees and Brittany Brees own or have invested in the chains and delivery services he named and have been involved with communities along the Gulf Coast through the Brees Dream Foundation.

The Super Bowl victory solidified Brees’s reputation as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. For New Orleans, it marked its recovery from the 2005 storm. “I needed New Orleans just as much as New Orleans needed me,” Brees told Sports Illustrated after being named its Sportsman of the Year in 2010. “People in New Orleans needed somebody to care about them. And it was the one place that cared about me.”

Last month, Brees, who turned 41 in January, announced that he would return for his 20th NFL season and 15th in New Orleans rather than become a free agent. He signed a two-year, $50 million contract extension.

Brees founded the Brees Dream Foundation in 2003 with a mission of “improving the quality of life for cancer patients, and provide care, education and opportunities for children and families in need.”