Banana Bread



  • 3 ripened bananas, mashed, to equal one cup
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 cups flour



Blend sugar, salt and egg into bananas. Stir in butter. Dissolve soda in water and add with flour. Mix and bake in loaf pan for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes 1 loaf.


Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup



  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup white rice
  • 1 can cooked wild rice (or 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice)
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 sticks margarine
  • 1 can mushrooms
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 pint half and half (or regular milk)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup pimento
  • 1 quart milk
  • 5 tsp parsley flakes



Wash and cook rice. Set aside. Cook chicken. Set aside. Boil the green pepper, onions and celery with 1/2 tsp salt. Cream flour and margarine and add the remaining ingredients, including the rice and chicken. Warm through. Excellent served with croissants.

Makes a large batch. Leftovers may be frozen. Reheat slowly, stirring constantly. It may be necessary to thin with cream or milk.


Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.

Sweetheart Pie



  • 3 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup whipped topping
  • 21 oz. can strawberry pie filling
  • 1 graham cracker crust pie shell



In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Stir in whipped topping and pie filling. Mix well. Pour into pie shell. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.

140 for 140: Helping Businesses and Communities for 140 Years


In 2015, we honor our commitment to the communities we serve with the 140 for 140 campaign, which highlights a minimum of 140 contributions we make to those communities in the form of volunteer time, education programs, event sponsorships and more.

Merchants Bank was founded July 17, 1875. Since our beginning, we have grown to 21 locations serving 18 communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. A number of our locations will also be celebrating significant anniversaries with the Merchants Bank organization in 2015: St. Charles (25 years), Apple Valley, Hastings, Hampton and Cottage Grove (15 years), Lakeville (10 years), and Spring Grove (5 years).

Since our first day, our employees have been dedicated to improving the communities they serve. We are proud to celebrate those contributions this year.

220,555 Pounds Collected in Winona

10DaysofGivingEventsFinal tallies put the 2014 “10 Days of Giving” at 220,555 pounds of food, the third highest total in the food drive’s 26-year history.

The total breaks down to $94,069 in cash and 32,417 pounds of food. The two years where more food was collected were 2013, when just over 280,000 pounds of food was collected, and 2009, when just over 250,000 pounds of food was collected. For the purposes of the total, two pounds of food are counted for each dollar. The 26-year total for pounds of food collected now stands at 2,597,782.

“We are thankful for the success of this year’s drive in supplying food for Winona Volunteer Services and helping to meet our goal that no one in Winona County goes hungry this winter,” said Jennifer Welch, who is co-chair of the food drive. “It means a lot to our employees to take part and help meet the needs of the food shelf and the people it serves.”

More than 30 area schools and child-care centers and more than 150 businesses participated in this year’s drive. See photos of the schools and a listing of this year’s participating businesses.

Community Spirit Brings Us Together

Winona area schools and daycare centers took part in the 26th Annual 10 Days of Giving” Food Drive, December 1-10, by collecting food at their locations to help stock food shelves in Winona County. Representatives of the schools and daycare centers are pictured below. Thanks to you, no one in Winona County will go hungry this winter.

“10 Days of Giving” is at 114,792 Pounds of Food

10 Days of Giving

Through the middle of the day on Tuesday, Merchants Bank had collected 114,792 pounds of food for the “10 Days of Giving.”

The totals include $52,773 in cash and 9,246 pounds of food. The total to date is behind last year’s record pace of 160,300 pounds of food, which was fueled by several significant anonymous monetary gifts. The number is ahead of the pace of two years ago of 98,106 pounds of food. For purposes of the calculation, each dollar counts for two pounds of food.

“Time and time again, I continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of the people in the Winona area. It’s unmatched,” said Jen Welch, who is co-chair of this year’s food drive. “We are especially gratified by the people who are first-time contributors. It is good to see how many people believe this food drive is important to this area.”

Last year, more than 280,000 pounds of food was collected and 195,438 pounds of food was collected in 2012. The 25-year total is 2,377,027 pounds of food.

There is still time to give. Merchants Bank employees and other volunteers will collect food barrels and cash cans at area schools, day-cares and businesses Thursday and Friday. The food and money collected from the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train stop Tuesday in Winona has not yet been included in the totals.

Checks may be made payable to “10 Days of Giving.” Checks not deposited at a Merchants Bank office may be mailed to Merchants Bank, P.O. Box 248, Winona MN 55987; or Winona Volunteer Services, 402 East Second Street in Winona.

Gifts of food may be dropped at any Merchants Bank location in Winona, Goodview or St. Charles. In addition to more than 30 area schools and child-care centers participating in this year’s Drive, there are more than 150 business collection sites throughout Winona County. View a listing of this year’s special events and participating businesses here.