NOTTAWASEPPI HURON BAND OF THE POTAWATOMI AND FIREKEEPERS CASINO HOTEL CONTINUE INNOVATIVE UTILIZATION OF FOOD WITH GROUNDBREAKING FOR GREENHOUSE FOOD PROJECT
(Battle Creek, Mich.) July 17, 2018 – The next phase of a multi-tier effort to bring food to the students and those needing assistance in the greater Battle Creek region will soon be underway. Leaders of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, owners of The Fire Hub and FireKeepers Casino Hotel joined tribal and community members today to announce that construction will soon start on a greenhouse, which will grow vegetables with the goal of delivering a free salad bar to area school students. The greenhouse will be constructed on tribal lands at the Pine Creek Indian Reservation, with a goal of offering the NHBP membership and Athens school students the opportunity to be the first beneficiaries of the produce.
“The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi is honored to lead this amazing community initiative,” stated NHBP Tribal Council Chairperson, Jamie Stuck. “Supporting the local community has always been a priority for us. Utilizing the Pine Creek Reservation to share in our culture and provide nutritious food for those in need makes it more meaningful to the tribe.”
The more than 5,000 square foot greenhouse is designed to blend seamlessly with its surroundings, and will minimally impact the landscape. Produce will include micro-greens, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, irrigated by hydro and aquaponics. The project will add six full-time jobs as well as 10 temporary construction jobs.
“The tribe and the casino continue to set the tone for the entire gaming industry with the investment in The Fire Hub and its adjoining Kendall Street Pantry,” stated Kathy George, FireKeepers CEO. “The restaurant has brought a vital new eatery to the city while the pantry has served more than 3,500 people more than 80,000 pounds of food. Our team members regularly support food drives to contribute to the pantry and take great pride in it.”
The greenhouse will add to FireKeepers already revolutionary food reclamation program, which has provided more than 10 tons of food rescued from the casino’s food outlets since starting the program in 2016. Unserved, prepared food is repackaged and frozen then distributed to the Food Bank to help those less fortunate.
“We are all really excited about this new endeavor and eagerly anticipate the start of construction in the coming weeks,” stated Michael McFarlen FireKeepers VP of Food and Beverage, and Fire Hub visionary. “This is the culmination of our plan to simultaneously create a successful restaurant product and help the community in an impactful way. We look forward to watching the project grow.”
The Fire Hub restaurant opened in April 2017 creating a much needed new eatery in downtown Battle Creek. The historic building also houses The Kendall Street Pantry, an agency of the Food Bank of South Central Michigan, which provides food for those in need every week. Eighty percent of The Fire Hub’s proceeds are pooled into a Community Fund and distributed yearly to benefit local charities. This past year, the fund raised more than $15,000 for the Food Bank. The location is Fire Station #4, located at Kendall and Dickman streets in Battle Creek. This fire station, which opened in July 1904, was designed by Hubert C. Scofield and was one of the last to still use the horse-drawn equipment. After nearly eighty years of service, the fire station closed in January of 1983.
FireKeepers Casino Hotel is owned and operated by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi. FireKeepers Casino Hotel, located just off Interstate 94 at Exit 104 in Battle Creek, MI, has been named Best Casino by audiences in Western Michigan and Northern Indiana, plus earned 9 first place awards in the Casino Player Magazine Best of Gaming 2017 Native Midwest category, including Best Overall Gaming Resort. FireKeepers was also selected one of the Best Casinos to Work For by Casino Player Magazine. Our signature restaurant, Nibi, is a multiple recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. The property features 2,900 slot machines, 70 table games, a live poker room and bingo room. FireKeepers offers a AAA-rated Four Diamond resort-style hotel with 243 rooms, a functional multi-purpose event center, six distinctive dining destinations, and multiple lounges. FireKeepers is the title sponsor of the FireKeepers Casino 400, a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, and host of the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship a Symetra Tour-Road to the LPGA golf event. For more information visit www.firekeeperscasino.com.
The Fire Hub, located on the corner of Kendall Street and Dickman Road in Battle Creek, MI, is owned and operated by FireKeepers Casino Hotel. A first of its kind non-profit, hands-on investment by a casino operator, The Fire Hub blends a restaurant with large gardens (located on the Pine Creek Indian Reservation) to grow food for local schools and a food pantry to help those less fortunate. The Fire Hub’s concept was the vision of Michael McFarlen, Vice President of Food and Beverage at FireKeepers Casino Hotel and a 2016 Governor’s Service Award winner for the state of Michigan. For more information visit www.firehubbc.com.
The Fire Hub and FireKeepers Casino Hotel are owned and operated by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi.
There are nearly 1,400 Tribal Members. NHBP’s primary Indian Health and Bureau of Indians Affairs Service Area covers members in Allegan, Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Kent, and Ottawa counties. The Tribe’s administrative office is located at the Pine Creek Indian Reservation in Athens Township, with a satellite office in Grand Rapids, Mich. to better serve Members. For more information visit: www.nhbpi.com.