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Detroit casinos, stadiums donate 20,000 pounds of food, sanitizing supplies

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — Major downtown venues are donating more than 20,000 pounds of food, as well as critical supplies, as they scramble to do some good in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Detroit's three casinos and two downtown stadiums already have donated or are working to donate their unused fruit, vegetables, dairy products, prepared foods and snacks to local food pantries.

Donated food waits to be picked up at Little Caesars Arena this week.

Additionally, MotorCity Casino announced it was donating 6,000 sanitizing wipes and 8,000 gloves to DDOT bus drivers, who began working routes again Wednesday, and Greektown Casino said it has reached out to city officials and area hospitals to offer its facility for makeshift treatment facilities or for drive-up screenings.

Here are the details:

MotorCity: Owned by the Ilitches — who also have pledged $1 million to pay part-time workers at Little Caesars Arena and the Fox Theatre, and another $1 million for employees of Comerica Park — the casino gave more than 5,000 pounds, or 23 pallets, of food to Forgotten Harvest, in addition to the sanitizing wipes and gloves to DDOT.

"We’re thankful for the opportunity to support our community during this challenging time," MotorCity said in a statement. "These items will be used to help keep our DDOT drivers safe while they continue to provide much needed transportation to the citizens of Detroit."

Greektown: Owned by Penn National Gaming, it is donating food, water, gloves and toilet paper to Gleaners Community Food Bank, Wayne County Meals on Wheels, Mariners Inn Shelter and Treatment Center and Veterans Solutions. In addition, Penn said in a statement that it is in contact with Detroit, Henry Ford Hospital and Detroit Medical Center to offer space for any hospital needs.

MGM Grand Detroit: Owned by MGM Resorts, it is donated 9,735 pounds of produce and dairy product to Forgotten Harvest, as well as 3,000 gloves to the City of Detroit.

Little Caesars Arena: Home of the Red Wings and Pistons, whose seasons have been indefinitely suspended, it has donated 6,500 pounds of fruit, vegetables and dairy to Forgotten Harvest.

Comerica Park: Home of the Tigers, whose home season was supposed to start in late March but now won't until mid-May at the earliest, it has donated 605 pounds of fruit, vegetables, prepared foods and snacks to Forgotten Harvest.

The food from LCA and Comerica Park is being donated by the venues' food and beverage-service contractor, Buffalo, N.Y.-based Delaware North.

The three casinos were shut down as part of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's orders limiting large gatherings in a confined space. They each closed their doors Monday, with only MotorCity saying its hotel would stay open.

Forgotten Harvest, which serves meals to an average of 250 families a day over three southeast Michigan counties, said it also has received donations this week from Ford Field, TCF Center, Kroger, Busch’s, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Meijer, Target, Trader Joe’s, CostCo, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Nino Salvaggio’s, Aldi, SysCo, National Food Group and Eden Foods, among others.

Gleaners serves about 100,000 meals a year over five southeast Michigan counties.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984