MN The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) Annual Eligibility Form United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-4/2020

April 7, 2020 @ 3:30 p.m.

I am eligible to receive TEFAP commodity food because:

  • I am in Minnesota and
  • My household income is 300% or less of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • I am also eligible if I receive or participate in the following services and programs: MFIP (Minnesota Family Investment Program), Child Care Assistance, GA (General Assistance), Head Start, SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program), Section 8, NAPS (Nutritional Assistance Program for Seniors), Public Housing, WIC (Women, Infants, and Children), Energy Assistance, Free or reduced breakfast and lunch, Weatherization
Channel One Food Shelf Eligibility Guidelines

Trainings from ServSafe

April 7, 2020 @ 1:50 p.m.

Hi, Everyone,

The company we get our food safety training from, ServSafe, is offering free courses during this pandemic. This would be an ideal time to brush up on your food safety certification. The class may be a little more comprehensive than you need, but it’s great information. The course they’re offering free is normally a couple hundred dollars. There’s also a free course specific to COVID-19. See the link below for more information:

Stay well, stay safe, and thanks for all you’re doing!

Form for Social Workers to pick up food for clients

March 30, 2020 @ 9:40 a.m.

Social workers, case managers and other professionals who are registering or picking up food for their clients must use this form in order to better track and manage distribution. Thank you!


Food boxes distribution on March 31st

March 26, 2020 @ 5:00 p.m.

Channel One is one of more than a dozen local non-profit organizations teaming up with the City of Rochester, Rochester Public Schools, and Cradle to Career to reach families in need.

On Tuesday, March 31, local families can pick up one free thirty-pound box of food at various school locations. The boxes include enough food to feed a family of four for approximately a week.

The food boxes can be picked up on March 31st at the following times and locations:

9:30 – 11 a.m. or while boxes are available:

  • Gage Elementary School
  • Sunset Terrace Elementary School
  • John Adams Middle School

12:30 – 2 p.m. or while boxes are available:

  • Riverside Central Elementary School
  • Mayo High School
  • Willow Creek Middle School

In order to ensure the safety of volunteers and residents, those picking up food will need to follow social distancing protocols at the drive-thru events.

  • Vehicles will pull up to the designated drive through location
  • Drivers MUST remain in their vehicle
  • Drivers will open their trunk remotely and the box will be placed in the trunk. If placing the box in the trunk is not an option, the box will be placed in the back seat of the vehicle

Food Boxes are available to any local family in need, with a limit of one box per family.

COVID-19 Operations Update

March 24, 2020 @ 9:30 a.m.

As of Monday, March 23, the Channel One Food Shelf is open for drive-up/curb-side registration and pick up ONLY. Hours remain the same, 8 am to 6 pm Monday through Thursday, and 8 am to noon Friday. The Salvation Army is also distributing boxes at their downtown location. Please check their website for updated information.

Households can come for a box of non-perishable groceries, and bags of limited amounts of perishable dairy, produce and frozen protein (meat). In order to follow health guidelines, we urge clients to come to Channel One only when in need of groceries.

If families are already registered, they can check in with the Channel One “community card” or Channel One ID number. Households can also check in with the name of the head of the household and their birthdate. New households can register curbside with the name of the head of the household and their birthdate, without further verifications. We only ask for enough information to be able to tell people apart, and decide how to serve them best.

Channel One does allow proxies to pick-up for clients at the food shelf. Group home staff, case workers, human services workers and any other social service professionals can serve as proxy for their clients. 

Olmsted County Health, Housing and Human Services has partnered with Channel One to help ensure the individuals they support have access to food. Beginning on March 24th, boxes of shelf-stable food will be available for staff to pick up and deliver to those in need on their caseload.

This is all the information we currently have. Our staff is overextended. We ask you please do not call or email the Food Shelf or individual Channel One staff about food boxes for your clients. Check Channel One website and Facebook page for the most current updates. 

COVID-19 Response

March 13, 2020 @ 6:00 p.m.

Along with “strengthening food access,” Channel One Regional Food Bank’s mission is also “to help build healthy communities.” Like many other organizations involved in keeping our communities healthy, we at Channel One Regional Food Bank have been keenly following news of the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Read more from Virginia Merritt, Executive Director at Channel One Regional Food Bank.

How You Can Help

Volunteer Needs:

Channel One  needs additional volunteers to pack emergency food boxes and to help fill the gaps we are seeing as many of its current volunteers fall in the at-risk or vulnerable populations category. Channel One is looking towards the community members who are not considered high-risk to step up and volunteer during this time.

Healthy low-risk individuals are encouraged to sign up for a shift here to help fill the gaps in its volunteer base.

Channel One volunteers are crucial to maintaining its operations, and with many individuals practicing social distancing or self-quarantine, we need the extra hands to support this increased need.

Increased Demand:

Channel One is planning for an increase in the need for its food programs because of the growing Covid-19 pandemic. Those who experience food insecurity and poverty are likely to be the most affected by CDC recommendations of community-based interventions such as school closings, event cancellations, social distancing, and employee plans to work remotely. Many of the individuals Channel One serves do not have the luxury of working from home, may not get paid if they are not able to work, and cannot purchase an increased supply of food and personal care items. If schools close, then there will be 8,087 students in Olmsted county alone who qualify for free and reduced lunch that could be missing up to two meals a day. Not to mention the increased cost of daycare while schools are closed. These strains on families can lead to them having to make difficult choices between food and housing costs. This is where Channel One can help people facing these issues. Channel One can take a $25 donation and turn it into 100 meals for individuals affected by the changes brought about from this growing pandemic.

You can make a secure online donation here.

Channel One is discouraging food drives at this point as they involve increased contact with others. The best way to help is to make a donation or volunteer.

Most importantly, please do not hesitate if you are experiencing some food insecurity. Whether you are faced with difficult times due to loss of shifts at work or closing daycares, Channel One is here for you. The process is easy and quick and you can shop immediately.

Thank you for your support during this time. Together we can strengthen food access and build healthy communities.