News release from MGM Resorts:
MGM Resorts today announced plans to donate $50,000 to support the establishment of the nonprofit East End NRZ Pop-Up Market & Café in Bridgeport, responding to a longstanding food desert in the East End in order to provide local residents access to healthy, nutritious food.
Donations of $25,000 each will be made to the Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust (BNT) and to the Greater Bridgeport Opportunities Industrialization Center, officials of MGM Resorts and the two community-based organizations said today.
Uri Clinton, Senior Vice President of MGM Resorts International will present the donations on Sunday, May 6 at 1:30 pm in front of the proposed East End NRZ Pop-up Market & Café at 1851 Stratford Avenue, Bridgeport. Bridgeport Opportunities Industrialization Center will devote the funds the organization receives toward the training and operation of the East End NRZ Pop-Up Market & Café and Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust intends to use the funds for the build-out of the East End NRZ Pop-Up Market & Café.
Deborah Caviness, President & CEO of The Greater Bridgeport Opportunities Industrialization Center (TGBOIC) said “the East NRZ and the community-at-large IS the driving force of this initiative. Their commitment to make certain their neighborhood has access to healthy food options is what brought this important initiative to fruition. It’s no surprise to me that MGM Resorts would extend their support. MGM has a demonstrated track-record of working in partnership with
inner-city communities to bring positive economic and social change and is the industry leader in supporting local businesses,” Caviness added.
BNT Executive Director Elizabeth Torres said, “I’m proud BNT can provide its construction resources and capabilities toward such a great cause in a community we serve.”
East End Councilman Ernest Newton said, “We would like to thank everyone who made the East End Market possible.”
Councilwoman Eneida Martinez said, “This is truly a community led initiative that will provide East End residents with access to quality food, fruits and vegetables.”
“Community involvement is one of the hallmarks of MGM, particularly in urban communities where we operate,” Clinton said. “We have developed close working relationships with people throughout the community as we advanced plans for MGM Bridgeport, and we became aware of this acute community need. We look forward to becoming an active member of the Bridgeport community, if provided that opportunity by the state legislature.”
TGBOIC will provide administrative oversight of the East End NRZ Pop-up Market & Café and job training services for adults and at-risk youth. The staff that will be employed at the East End Popup Market & Café will participate in TBOIC’s customer service and life skills training. TGBOIC will also provide business development training for entrepreneurs seeking to start a business in the food industry.