Catawba Two Kings Casino Raises $10,000 To Support Local Food Initiatives

Catawba Kings Mountain Rotary
L-R: Dwayne Rogers, member of the Catawba Nation Executive Committee; Linda Newsome and Mary Grace Keller with the Kings Mountain Rotary Club; and Kathy George, President of the Catawba Nation Gaming Authority.

KINGS MOUNTAIN, NC – The Catawba Two Kings Casino’s Share Change program raised $10,000 from April through June for two local charitable organizations working to address food insecurity.

Common Ground Cafe and the Kings Mountain Rotary Club’s Weekend Backpack Program each received $5,000 through the campaign, which enables casino patrons to donate the remaining change on slot vouchers by dropping them in the Share Change ticket boxes located on the casino floor.

With these donations, the program has provided $80,000 to organizations in local communities since it began in July 2021. The casino launched the Share Change program several weeks after its July 2021 opening, and new charitable recipients are designated every three months by the Catawba Nation Gaming Authority’s Board of Directors.

“We thank our loyal patrons for continuing to be generous in supporting the Share Change campaign,” said Kathy George, President of the Catawba Nation Gaming Authority. “These funds will help these two initiatives to address food insecurity in our community.”

Catawba Common Ground Cafe
L-R: Dwayne Rogers, a member of the Catawba Nation Executive Committee; Nancy Hillman, Executive Director of Common Ground Café; Dena Nesmith with the café; and Kathy George, President of the Catawba Nation Gaming Authority.

Since 2018, Common Ground Cafe’s volunteers and supporters have worked together to provide nutritious meals and education through community pop-up events. While its board and staff are actively working toward it becoming the area’s first donation-based restaurant, Common Ground Cafe is currently meeting an important need by providing weekly meals to seniors ages 70 and older who are unable to prepare or cook meals on their own.

The Kings Mountain Rotary Club started the Weekend Backpack Food Program 12 years ago with only 10 students at one elementary school. Today, the club is feeding 130 to 135 students each week, supporting four Kings Mountain elementary schools and the Kings Mountain Middle School. The cost is between $2,000 to $2,200 per month depending on the cost of food, which is steadily increasing.

The club furnishes food weekly from September through May, including breakfast, lunch, snacks, juice and a later-day meal. School guidance counselors select children in need, and no child is turned away as the guidance counselors know they can add more students as needed.