Who We Are
At Channel One Regional Food Bank, our mission is to strengthen food access and build healthy communities with a vision that every community in our region is food secure.
We serve people experiencing hunger in 14 counties in southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin through a network of 200 food shelves, pantries and programs.
Initially established to feed seniors in Olmsted County back in 1980, Channel One has grown from a small meal program to the largest food relief organization in our region.
Channel One is a member of Feeding America, a national network of 200 food banks from across the country providing food assistance. This allows us access to millions of pounds of surplus food and grocery donations that we safely and efficiently collect, store, and distribute to those in need.
Who We Serve
We provide food assistance to working families and individuals, seniors, and people in times of crisis due to job loss, medical problems, or personal disaster.
Our network of 200 food shelves, pantries and programs extends across 14 counties in southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
These counties include: Faribault, Waseca, Rice, Goodhue, Wabasha, Steele, Dodge, Olmsted, Freeborn, Mower, Fillmore, Winona, Houston, and La Crosse County in Wisconsin.
Many of our neighbors in these communities are food insecure and are uncertain where their next meal will come from.
> Food Bank: distributes industry and government donated food supplies to 200 regional non-profit programs in SE Minnesota and La Crosse County, WI.
> Food Shelf: distributes free groceries to residents of Olmsted County, MN with lower-income, providing a supply of supplemental food to eligible households. The Food Shelf was recently renovated to follow a super-shelf model, giving shoppers/clients access to healthier food options.
> Mobile Food Pantry: serving six sites in three counties where there is limited access to food shelves.
> Backpack Program: The Backpack Program discreetly provides nutritious, child-friendly, easy-to-prepare food to chronically hungry children. The food is distributed in ordinary backpacks students take home over the weekends and out-of-school times. More than 1,000 children at 23 schools currently receive weekly backpacks. We have expanded this program in 2020 to provide food to students on days that they are distance learning due to COVID-19 and don't have access to school lunches.
> Nutrition Assistance for Seniors Program (NAPS): Through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program or NAPS, Channel One provides an approximately 35-pound box of free food each month to seniors who meet income guidelines. The program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture.