Keeneland expands COVID-19 outreach with "Nourish the Backstretch"

Posted at 12:09 PM, May 05, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Keeneland announced an expanded COVID-19 outreach initiative Tuesday, called "Nourish the Backstretch."

This initiative is a partnership between Keeneland, Nourish Lexington and Blue Grass Farms Charities. This will provide weekly meals and groceries to the more than 500 stable area workers at Keeneland and The Thoroughbred Center.

Keeneland officials say proceeds from wagers placed through Keeneland Select during the month of May will be donated to Nourish the Backstretch.

“Keeneland is forever grateful to the industry’s front-line heroes, the men and women on the backstretch who are out there every day taking care of the horses,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “We recognize and appreciate your hard work and dedication, and we are committed to support you during this challenging time where resources are scarce. You are vital to this industry and an important part of the Keeneland family.”

Nourish the Backstretch is an extension of Nourish Lexington, an initiative co-founded with VisitLEX, FoodChain and other community partners in April. This initiative provides meals five days a week to anyone in Lexington who has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nourish Lexington provides immediate access to food to those who need it most – from the hardworking stable worker who is caring for our horses to the recently unemployed mother who is homeschooling her children. Everyone deserves a nutritious meal,” Keeneland Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Christa Marrillia said. “Nourish the Backstretch extends the reach of these resources, allowing us to highlight our stable area community through our Chaplaincy program and Blue Grass Farms Charities.”