FEEDING LOCAL SCHOOL CHILDREN IS A WINNING HANDS-ON INITIATIVE

FEEDING LOCAL SCHOOL CHILDREN IS A WINNING HANDS-ON INITIATIVE

(Battle Creek, MI.) July 17, 2019 – Creating an impact and improving young lives.   That’s the outcome of a new initiative  to provide healthy food and snacks for area schoolchildren.    This past school year, FireKeepers Casino Hotel and The Fire Hub, restaurant and local food pantry, a joint effort of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi and FireKeepers Casino Hotel, were able to provide nearly 50,000 pound of produce and 2,300 cases of snacks to seven schools and daycares in and around Battle Creek through a program titled, Operation Fit. The Fire Hub greenhouse, located on nearby tribal land, was also able to provide nearly 500 pounds of produce for Athens Schools, after initiating the free salad bar for the high school on May 13, 2019.

The break out is as follows:
Operation Fit:                                                                          Athens Salad Bar:
Apples             8,080 lbs.        Dried Fruit       181 cases       Romaine Lettuce        90 lbs.
Bananas          4,610 lbs.        Pretzels           376 cases      Tomatoes                    75 lbs.
Oranges          8,400 lbs.        Apple Sauce  202 cases        Cucumbers                 120lbs.
Kiwi             2,952 lbs.        Nutrition Bars 357 cases        Carrots                        60 lbs.
Zucchini          4,000 lbs.        Apple Juice     1,148 cases    Peppers                       60 lbs.
Squash            40 lbs.            Veggie Straws  90 cases        Homemade Dressing  10 gal.
Carrots           4,463 lbs.

These totals helped multiple schools attain Gold Status in the School Wellness Awards by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. FireKeepers started their partnership with Operation Fit in 2018 by creating snack carts, which are placed in central locations within area schools, containing healthy snacks, including fresh fruits and vegetables, for kids to eat during the day. At the end of the school day, the remaining produce is available for parents to take home and utilize in meal preparation.

“From the start, our goal at FireKeepers was to improve the local community, because it is simply the right thing to do,” stated FireKeepers Casino Hotel’s CEO Kathy George. “Utilizing Operation Fit and the Fire Hub, as well as our amazing staff, we have been able to impact more people than we ever could have imagined and we take enormous pride in witnessing this process.”

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Operation Fit is a program developed by the collaborative efforts of the Battle Creek Community Foundation and Battle Creek philanthropic agencies and organizations working towards decreasing the rates of childhood obesity in the Battle Creek area. Operation Fit is looking for volunteers who love and portray healthy, active lifestyles and are interested in being involved throughout local elementary schools by helping motivate students to eat and act their best while having fun. The main goals for Operation Fit are to increase physical activity, improve the nutrition in the lunchroom environment, and to create supportive environments for all children so they can begin healthy habits early on.

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 multiple awards in the Casino Player Magazine Best of Gaming 2018 Native Midwest category, including Best Casino. FireKeepers was also selected one of the Best Casinos to Work For by Casino Player Magazine. FireKeepers 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.

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