• Channel One Regional Food Bank Announces New Executive Director

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    December 07, 2017
    Rochester, MN ––Channel One Regional Food Bank is pleased to announce that Virginia Merritt will be joining Channel One as the new Executive Director beginning in January 2018.  The Channel One board of directors pursued a collaborative decision-making process in the search, and appreciates the community members who gave valuable input.
    “We have selected an incredible individual who will confidently lead Channel One well into the future. She is a strong advocate, dedicated, determined and a highly respected leader in many public service areas. She has a tremendous amount of enthusiasm, possesses effective team building skills and most significantly, she has the confidence to lead Channel One as we address the challenges that our clients face each and every day,” said Jim Bressi, Channel One Regional Food Bank board chair.
    Merritt currently serves as Executive Director of Legal Assistance of Olmsted County, where she has been the Executive Director for the last five years.
    Virginia W. Merritt, J.D. graduated with Distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law, and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Political Science from the University of Iowa. Prior to joining Legal Assistance of Olmsted County in August 2012, Virginia worked at Brown, Kinsey, Funkhouser & Lander, P.L.C. Virginia is a member of the Minnesota and Olmsted County Bar Associations. Virginia became a member of the United Way of Olmsted County’s Board of Directors in 2015. Virginia also enjoys serving on the social committee for her neighborhood association. Virginia is the 2014 recipient of the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women’s Community Ally Inspire Award and the 2015 recipient of the Battered Women’s Legal Aid Project’s Attorney of the Year Award.
    “I am excited to join the dedicated staff and volunteers at Channel One Regional Food Bank and look forward to working with Channels One's staff, board of directors, partners, volunteers, and the community to feed people and change lives. Channel One has a long history of serving those in need and has created innovative programs to deliver food and nutrition to low-income people in the community. I look forward to helping Channel One to continue to achieve its mission well into the future,” Merritt said.
    Channel One Regional Food Bank, a member of Feeding America, alleviates hunger through innovative and efficient programs and partnerships that feed people and change lives. Channel One operates six programs to serve local and area needs: a food bank, food shelf, mobile pantry, Backpack Program, Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors (NAPS), and Green Gardens Program.
    Channel One Regional Food Bank mobilizes organizations, volunteers and donors to serve the network of more than 185 nonprofit programs feeding children, adults and families in need. In fiscal year 2016-17, 75 percent of all food distributed to people in need by our partner agencies was provided by Channel One. With these partnerships, Channel One was able to provide food for 7,827,547 meals to people in 14 counties in Southeast Minnesota and La Crosse County, Wisconsin. For more information, call 507-287-2350 or visit helpingfeedpeople.org.
    Linda Olson, Development and Communications Director
    (507) 287-2350