Starting Wednesday, Channel One Regional Food Bank will begin offering prepared meals at select off-site locations in Olmsted County for the first time in its history.

The Channel One Prepared Meals Program was created to address the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project is expected to provide 84,000 meals over the next three months, in addition to the food being provided at Channel One Food Bank and its agency partners on a daily basis.

“We aim to increase access to prepared meals to accommodate the growing rate of food insecurity in Olmsted County," said Channel One Executive Director Virginia Merritt. "This project will provide supplementary support to our existing meal programs by creating culturally specific menus and delivery to low-access communities, which will fill gaps in our current scope of service."

The food bank was awarded a nearly $700,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Education, using funds from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, to facilitate this project.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Participants in the prepared meals program will receive two meals at each location — one for that day and one for a later time. Olmsted County residents do not have to be registered with Channel One to receive meals through the program.

Masks are required and social distancing is encouraged at each of the sites. The sites and pickup times are:

  • Mayo High School, 1420 11th Ave. SE (use Door 3B) in Rochester, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • Friendship Park, 1421 4th Ave. SE in Rochester, from 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday
  • Eyota Ambulance Facility, 753 Robert Ave. in Eyota
  • Zion Lutheran Church, 400 5th Ave. NE in Stewartville, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Jeremiah Program, Boys and Girls Club of Rochester, and Head Start programs at the Empowerment Center and The Place will also be offering meals to their participants, who should contact the programs directly for more information.