After closing the Shooting Star Casinos on March 18 because of the coronavirus, the Mahnomen location quickly became the base for the White Earth Emergency Management Team and Elder Nutrition Program.

The team provides 1,000 meals per weekday for White Earth elders in the program, according to a news release. The program existed prior to the pandemic but has altered the operations to keep elders 55 and older safe. All of the meals are now prepared and delivered -- no pickups allowed -- by the team.

Along with making and preparing the meals, the team is also working to fight the potential spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and wellness of the community. It takes emergencies, such as the current pandemic, for the EMT to be mobilized by the White Earth Reservation business council.

“We must continue to come together as a community to slow the impact of COVID-19. We’ve seen that happen. And we’ll continue to see it," Scott Stevens said in the release. He is the general manager of the Shooting Star Casino. "We look forward to welcoming everyone back when we resume operations. Together, we’ll get through this.”

On Tuesday, March 31, the Shooting Star Casino announced its closures have been extended, but did not provide an expected opening date, as the business leaders plan to monitor the guidelines and conditions before setting it. Until that reopening, the casino will continue to serve as the base for the EMT and the elder nutrition program.