Several hundred low-income families across Louisiana will soon receive Internet access at a reduced cost and refurbished computers, thanks to a $60,000 grant from the James M. Cox Foundation, Cox said Thursday.
The foundation considered similar pursuits in the past but needed a partner to provide low-cost hardware to pair with Internet access, said Sharon Bethea, a spokeswoman for Cox Communications.
“We had the Internet but realized one wouldn’t work without the other,” she said.
Cox partnered with the Baton Rouge-based Capital Area Corporate Recycling Council, a nonprofit organization that restores technology for schools, other nonprofits and low-income families, Bethea said.
The program kicked off Thursday when East Baton Rouge School System officials presented five students with free computers.
The grant will provide 500 computers to families across the Southeast, including 300 in Cox service areas in Louisiana, Bethea said.
To qualify for the computers, families must first enroll in Connect2Compete. Families who enroll in the program receive the computers on a first-come, first-served basis, Bethea said.
Nancy Jo Craig, executive director of CACRC, said many of the computers would otherwise end up in the landfill. This initiative helps prevent that, she said.
“People in Baton Rouge can know that when they are about to get rid of old equipment, they can help the environment and the community,” she said of donating used computers to CACRC.