The Auburn Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for the Jonathan Jones Next Step Foundation, Friday, April 28.

Jonathan Jones is an NFL player who got his career start in Auburn and is now giving back.

“The mission of the Jonathan Jones Next Step Foundation Inc. is to educate the youth on practical life application, to encourage professional development and to empower the youth through education and mentorship,” the foundation’s website said.

Jones was present at the Auburn Chamber with his family and members of the foundation’s team.

“To our young people in this town, you’re a hero because of what they see you do on Sunday and what you used to do on Saturday here, but it’s great that you’re going to take that another step and they’re going to see that you’re a hero because you’re serving your community, you’re giving back to all of us who live here, and we’re grateful for that,” Auburn Mayor Ron Anders told Jones.

Anders said it became apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic that feeding children was a necessity.

The foundation partnered with the Sustenance Project and Food Bank of East Alabama to provide food for children in need.

Anders presented a proclamation to Jones and the foundation.

“Auburn is a part of my village,” Jones said. “… It helped me grow from that transition from a high schooler to a young man once I made the transition to the professionals, and it’s a part of me. So I will forever be grateful for Auburn and will forever give back.”