Carnival Cruise Line – the official cruise line of the New Orleans Saints – has announced that it is partnering with the NFL franchise and Second Harvest Food Bank in New Orleans, La., to fight hunger this holiday season through a contest for area schools that provides a fun array of prizes to encourage the collection of canned goods and donations.

To participate, K-12 schools can sign up at http://no-hunger.org/schoolmealdrive/ and initiate the collection of food and/or funds for Second Harvest through Dec. 17.

Carnival will reward the five schools collecting the most donations with a pizza party for the entire school. These five schools will also receive a Carnival cruise for a family of four and signed footballs from the New Orleans Saints to award via a drawing. Additionally, the top class in each of those schools will win a field trip to attend a party on board the Carnival Triumph, which will be the newest cruise ship addition to New Orleans when it arrives in April 2016. The next 10 schools making the largest donation to the Holiday Food & Fund Drive will also receive a pizza party for their respective school courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line.  The winning schools will be announced at the Saints vs. Lions game on Monday, Dec. 21.

“At Carnival, we place tremendous importance on giving back to our homeport communities and we are delighted to be partnering with the Saints and Second Harvest on this wonderful initiative which will provide meals this holiday season to people in need in the greater New Orleans area,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
 
“We could not be more thankful for Carnival in helping us lead the fight against hunger in Southern Louisiana by providing incentives for schools to participate in our Holiday Food & Fund Drive,” said Natalie Jayroe, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank. “Our work together ensures that meals make it to the dinner tables of thousands of families struggling with hunger.”

“The Saints and our local Second Harvest Food Bank have collaborated for years on several projects. We are thrilled that Carnival Cruise Line has been inspired by Second Harvest Food Bank’s commitment to our community and has collaborated with us to make a difference during the holiday season,” said Saints Owner Tom Benson. “We hope local students and their families will join us in fighting hunger and helping those in need in the Greater New Orleans area.”

To celebrate the conclusion of the contest, Carnival will construct the world’s largest cruise ship made out of canned food. The structure is being designed by the local American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chapter and the cans used to build the ship will be donated by Carnival to Second Harvest Food Bank.  The initiative will ultimately provide more than 75,000 meals within the local community. Volunteers from Carnival, AIA and the Saints will begin construction on the morning of Monday, Dec. 21, and will finish just before the Saints’ match-up with the Detroit Lions on ESPN’s Monday Night Football (kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. EST/7:30 p.m. CST).