USA Football, the sport's national governing body on youth and amateur levels, announced that it will award $1 million in equipment grants to youth and high school football programs across America this fall based on merit and need. USA Football's grant program has assisted the youth and high school football community since 2006 and will have distributed more than $2 million through 2009. USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, its 32 teams and the NFL Players Association.

Youth leagues and high schools may apply for grants on through Friday, Oct. 9, at 5 p.m. ET.

Each youth league is eligible for a $1,000 package that includes equipment and apparel from Riddell and Under Armour. High schools will earn similar packages valued at $1,500. Eligible youth football leagues must be a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

“This program helps youth football leagues and high school programs continue to make a positive impact in their communities through America's favorite sport,” said USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck . “Even with multiple fundraisers and registration fees, some organizations struggle to properly equip their teams. We're proud to foster great football experiences and we're happy that our national partners – Riddell and Under Armour – share our vision.”

USA Football offers innovative programs and resources to further strengthen the sport and provide players a positive football experience. The independent non-profit has members in all 50 states serving the game as youth league commissioners, coaches and game officials.

USA Football's equipment grant program is made possible through the NFL Youth Football Fund, a non-profit foundation created by the NFL and NFL Players Association in 1998.