Casinos Making Sure Those in Need Have Thanksgiving Meals, as Americans Urged to Stay Home

Posted on: November 19, 2020, 03:28h. 

Last updated on: November 19, 2020, 04:15h.

Casinos are stepping up to the plate this most unusual Thanksgiving to make sure those in need have a proper feast.

casino Thanksgiving meal donation
Kitchen workers at the Hard Rock Atlantic City casino pack bags for those in need of a meal this upcoming Thanksgiving. (Image: Press of Atlantic City)

State governors across the nation, as well as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are urging Americans to avoid traveling next week. More than one million new COVID-19 cases were reported in the US over the past seven days — a statistic that has health experts alarmed.

As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with,” a CDC statement advises. “Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.”

With many people not getting together with their families, casinos are offering free Turkey Day meals to those in need.

Giving Thanks

The First Thanksgiving is said to have been held in 1621 by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World. The Mashpee Wampanoag Indians in Massachusetts, a tribe that remains engulfed in a legal effort to build a casino resort, claims to have attended the inaugural feast.

For many Americans, Thanksgiving is a day that traditionally involves charitable acts. Most US communities have food drives prior to the holiday to collect non-perishable items and canned goods.

With COVID-19 keeping families apart, Hard Rock Atlantic City this week assembled more than 475 bags of food that include frozen turkey, potatoes, canned vegetables, and stuffing. The bags were delivered to two affordable housing senior centers in town.

Hard Rock AC additionally delivered 100 frozen turkeys to the Atlantic City Rescue Mission for its Thanksgiving service.

Upstate New York casinos are also aiding those in need. Rivers Casino Schenectady is donating turkeys and Thanksgiving sides to various organizations, including food pantries, senior centers, and homeless shelters. Tioga Downs is tripling all donations made to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier’s 11th Annual Turkey Drive.

Native American tribes are also assisting in making sure no one goes hungry this Thanksgiving. In Indiana, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi is once again handing out Turkey Day packages for the needy. The distribution begins tomorrow, November 20, and runs through Sunday at 1 pm.

Casino Aid

The gaming industry might be classified as a “sin industry” by some. But casinos are no stranger to doing virtuous acts. When the pandemic broke out in March, casinos were some of the first businesses to come to the aid of their local communities.

From personal protective equipment to food, casinos donated to their host cities and towns.

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut donated more than 40,000 meals. MGM Resorts donated more than 20,000 pounds of food across the nation. And Caesars Entertainment, Las Vegas Sands, Station Casinos, and Boyd Gaming directed pallets of perishable food to food banks.