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Channel One hopes holiday food drives make up for shortage

Channel One Food Bank and Food Shelf is going into the holiday season about 30,000 pounds of food short of what it expected, but hopes are that various holiday food drives will help make up the difference.

The goal of this year's Student Food Drive , Channel One's largest annual food drive, was for students from 16 area high schools to raise 70,000 pounds of food in a month to receive a 20,000-pound challenge donation from Faribault Foods, said Jennifer Woodford, Channel One spokeswoman.

And while the students put forth an excellent effort and brought in more than 41,000 pounds of food, she said some student tragedies prevented some of the schools from participating. And while Faribault Foods donated the 20,000 pounds as a way to honor the students' effort, Woodford said. "We're over 30,000 pounds below where hoped."

The food drive did, however, succeed in its mission of getting students involved in the fight against hunger and promoting volunteerism, she said.

Students from Kasson-Mantorville High School received cash awards for the most food and money collected and are already talking about how they can use the money to make a difference, Woodford said.


"It was amazingly heartening to hear," she said.

Although smaller in scope than the Student Food Drive, the vast number of food drives starting up now at churches, clubs, businesses and schools can also make a difference at Channel One.

Among the upcoming food drives is the Cans Film Festival on Dec. 3 at Wehrenberg Theatres. That drive helps fill the Salvation Army food shelf, which in Rochester is part of the Channel One system, Woodford said. Bring five canned food items and see a movie before 5 p.m. for free. Bring 10 additional canned food items to receive a movie pass good for another day.

Charter is also running a Movies for Food donation program during which Charter customers can donate four non-perishable food items at their local Charter office to receive a Charter On Demand movie coupon. Customers donating eight or more non-perishable food items will receive two Charter On Demand movie coupons.

The Holiday Train will also make its annual Rochester stop at 2 p.m. on Dec. 5. But, since this year it arrives during weekday daylight hours, it might not draw as big of crowd, Woodford said.

Channel One is seeing more use. September was the first time that the food shelf had more than 4,000 visits in one month.

"Unfortunately we're already a big number for November," she said.

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