“10 Days of Giving” Food Drive Reports 75,526 Pounds of Food Collected

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Through Tuesday, Merchants Bank’s 29th annual “10 Days of Giving” Food Drive was at 75,526 pounds of food collected to benefit the food shelf at Winona Volunteer Services (WVS).

The number of pounds of food collected included $37,214 in cash and 1,108  pounds of food. Included in the amount was a $10,000 anonymous donation. Through the same time last year, 97,036 pounds of food had been collected. Two pounds of food are counted for each dollar collected. WVS Executive Director Sandra Burke pointed out at the food drive’s opening news conference that WVS can purchase $3 to $3.50 of food for each dollar it receives.

“Despite the warm weather early in the drive, people are in the holiday giving mood,” said Jennifer Welch of Merchants Bank, one of this year’s co-chairs. “We are thankful for all of their donations.”

Last year, 206,050 pounds of food was collected. The drive started this year with 3,045,465 pounds collected through its first 28 years. More events are scheduled throughout the week, including the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, which is scheduled to be at the Winona Amtrak Station at 4 p.m. Friday. Merchants Bank will be serving refreshments during the stop. The popular Winter Wonderland Department 56 Snow Village is open to 4-7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 64 E. 4th Street.

“If you haven’t been to the Snow Village, it is one of those displays you don’t want to miss,” Welch said. “The Holiday Train is also great entertainment for the whole family.”

Merchants will be collecting nonperishable food items at its locations as well as at schools and participating businesses around the area. A list of participating schools and businesses is at www.merchantsbank.com/10daysofgiving. Monetary donations can be made out to “10 Days of Giving”and can be mailed to, or dropped off at Merchants Bank, 102 E. 3rd Street, Winona, MN 55987. If you would like to make a donation online, you can go directly to the Winona Volunteer Services website: http://www.winonavs.org. Indicate “10 Days of Giving” after entering your name.

Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove Launches Ninth “10 Days of Giving”

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Merchants Bank is launching its ninth annual “10 Days of Giving” event in Cottage Grove to help those in need who utilize the Friends in Need Food Shelf. The event runs December 1-10.

Randy Bachman

Randy Bachman, Branch Manager in Cottage Grove

“Our goal as a Bank is to help the Friends in Need Food Shelf meet its goals to help people throughout our area,” said Randy Bachman, Branch Manager of Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove.

Last year, the “10 Days of Giving” helped to collect 15,006 items and $381 in cash donations for the Friends in Need Food Shelf. People are asked to bring toiletries and monetary donations to Merchants Bank’s at 8479 East Point Douglas Road S. Checks can be made out to the “10 Days of Giving.”

Donations can also be made at the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train stop, near the Sieben Bridge, in front of the Youth Service Bureau, at 5:15 p.m. December 9.

“We encourage everyone in the area to attend to enjoy the music and drop off items for the Friends in Need Food Shelf,” Bachman said.

Donations can also be made at these participating schools and school district locations: Armstrong Elementary, Cottage Grove Elementary, Cottage Grove Middle School, Crestview Elementary/Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion, District Service Center ISD 833, East Ridge High School, Grey Cloud Elementary, Hillside Elementary, Park High School, Pine Hill Elementary, Pullman Elementary, South Washington Alternative High School and the Transportation Department ISD 833.

This year Merchants will be working with Woodbury schools collecting donations and items for the Christian Covered Emergency Food Shelf (CCEFS). It will be the first year for the “10 Days of Giving” in the Woodbury schools.

Merchants Bank in St. Charles Kicks Off 29th Annual “10 Days of Giving” with a $400 Donation to the Hometown Resource Center

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Merchants Bank in St. Charles is kicking off its 29th annual “10 Days of Giving” Food Drive, December 1-10 with a $400 donation to the Hometown Resource Center in St. Charles.

Sandra Pasche, Customer Service Representative

Sandra Pasche, Customer Service Representative

“There are many people among us who for whatever reason need our help,” said Merchants Bank’s Sandra Pasche, who is coordinating this year’s drive. “We ask those of us who have the means to consider giving so all of our holidays are better.”

The Hometown Resource Center provides assistance to those in need in the St. Charles area. Students in the St. Charles area will be asked to provide donations of non-perishable food items and monetary donations. Additionally, individuals and businesses in the St. Charles area are being encouraged to make donations. Donations can be placed in barrels Dec. 1-10 (barrels will be picked up Monday, December 11) at these locations:

  • Early Childhood Family Education
  • Merchants Bank
  • Charles Elementary School
  • Charles High School
  • Matthew Community Preschool
  • Charles Day Care

Cash donations are preferred because they allow the Hometown Resource Center to buy the products it needs the most. Monetary donations can be brought or mailed to Merchants Bank in St. Charles, 1130 Whitewater Avenue.

Merchants Bank in Hastings Takes the Lead in the “10 Days of Giving” Food Drive, December 1-10

10daysofgivingblogMerchants Bank in Hastings will once again partner with Hastings Family Service (HFS) and area schools to help those in need during the “10 Days of Giving” Food Drive, December 1-10.

Last year, with help from Merchants Bank, 3,421 pounds of food and $11,190 in monetary donations were collected from students and community members to help Hastings Family Service.

Much of the food is collected during the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train visit to Hastings, scheduled this year for 8:30 p.m., December 8, at the Canadian Pacific Depot, 500 East Second Street.

Bruce Goblirsch, President of Merchants Bank-Hastings

Bruce Goblirsch, President of Merchants Bank-Hastings

“We appreciate all donations, but we want to point out that monetary donations are the most versatile, allowing the food shelf to get what it needs most at any particular time,” said Bruce Goblirsch, President of Merchants Bank in Hastings.

Area residents are encouraged to drop off monetary donations and non-perishable food items for the “10 Days of Giving” at Merchants Bank in Hastings, 1525 Vermillion Street. Checks can be made payable to the “10 Days of Giving.”

“10 Days of Giving” at 206,050 Pounds for 2016; Passes 3 Million Pounds Collected in Total

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“10 Days of Giving” Food Drive Co-Chairs Jen Welch and Chad Anderson

Through school and business pickups Monday and Tuesday, the “Days of Giving”Food Drive was at 206,050 pounds of food. The collection puts the drive at over 3 million pounds of food collected during the drive’s 28-year history to benefit the food shelf at Winona Volunteer Services.

“The pick-ups are always a lot of work for our volunteers and the volunteers at Winona Volunteer Services, and it always seems as if they are on the coldest days of the year,” said Jen Welch, one of this year’s co-chairs for Merchants Bank. “Our thanks to all of our volunteers and to all of the people who donated goods and money to make the drive a success. We are thankful to top 3 million pounds and grateful that we have been able to help people in our area who have a need.”

The 2016 total breaks down to $90,900 in cash and 24,250 pounds of food. For the purposes of the total, two pounds of food are counted for each dollar. The total for 28 years now stands at 3,045,465 pounds.

“All of us at Merchants Bank are looking forward to renewing the drive next year and helping to meet our goal of helping to make sure no one in Winona County goes hungry during the winter,” Welch said.

Merchants collected nonperishable food items at its locations as well as at schools and participating businesses around the area. A list of participating schools and businesses is at www.merchantsbank.com/10daysofgiving.

“10 Days of Giving” Food Drive Has a Good Beginning

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Through Tuesday, Merchants Bank’s 28th annual “10 Days of Giving” Food Drive was at 97,036 pounds of food collected.

The number of pounds of food collected included $47,976 in cash and 1,084 pounds of food. Included in the amount was a $10,000 anonymous donation. Two pounds of food are counted for each dollar collected. Through the same time last year, 117,381 pounds of food had been collected.

“We are always truly amazed at the generosity of the people in our community, especially as it relates to helping others,”said Jennifer Welch of Merchants Bank, one of this year’s co-chairs.

Last year, more than 231,233 pounds of food was collected, making the 27-year total 2,839,415 pounds of food. With totals to date for this year, the “10 Days of Giving” Food Drive is at 2,936,451 pounds of food collected.

“We are looking forward to the remainder of the drive,” Welch said. “We expect there will be great turnouts for the Holiday Train on Thursday and at the Santa House on Saturday and Sunday.”

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train is scheduled to arrive at 4 p.m. at the Winona Amtrak Station. The Santa House is open at 25038 County Road 9 1-5 p.m. Saturday and 2-5 p.m. Sunday. Suggested admission to the Santa House is $5 per person or nonperishable food items. Pictures with Santa will be available for $3 a photo.

Merchants will be collecting nonperishable food items at its locations as well as at schools and participating businesses around the area. A list of participating schools and businesses is at www.merchantsbank.com/10daysofgiving. Monetary donations can be made out to “10 Days of Giving” and can be mailed to, or dropped off at Merchants Bank, 102 E. 3rd Street, Winona, MN 55987. If you would like to make a donation online, you can go directly to the Winona Volunteer Services website: winonavs.org. Indicate ” 10 Days of Giving”after entering your name.

Welch, Anderson Named “10 Days of Giving” Co-Chairs

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Jennifer Welch and Chad Anderson have been named co-chairs for Merchants Bank’s 2016 “10 Days of Giving”Food Drive, which runs December 1-10. The effort, which benefits food shelf programs operated by Winona Volunteer Services, will be celebrating its 28th year. To date, more than 2.8 million pounds of food have been collected.

“The participation we see from businesses, schools, individuals and others is inspiring,”said Welch, the Bank’s Events and Adventures Coordinator, who is serving her third year as co-chair. “We see many people give who have benefitted from the effort in the past. They know what it’s like to wonder if they are going to have enough to eat.”

Last year, the “10 Days of Giving”collected 231,233 pounds of food. It was the third highest total ever collected. Two pounds of food are calculated for each dollar brought in. The percentage of monetary donations keeps increasing each year.

“It is wonderful to see the community come together for a common cause,”said Anderson, a Commercial Banker, who is serving his first year as co-chair. “That includes the members of our team here at Merchants Bank. It’s truly a company effort to help make sure no one in Winona County goes hungry this winter.”

Through the end of 2015, 860 households used the food shelf at Winona Volunteer Services each month and 73 households used the food shelf on an emergency basis each month. The average amount of food distributed each month was 35,162 pounds.

As in the past, Merchants will be collecting at its locations as well as at schools and participating businesses around the area. For questions, please call Welch at 457-1108 or Anderson at 457-1196. The “10 Days of Giving”will officially kick off with a press conference at 9 a.m., December 1 at Merchants Bank in downtown Winona. Monetary donations can be made out to “10 Days of Giving”and can be mailed to, or dropped off at Merchants Bank, 102 E. 3rd Street, Winona, MN 55987. If you would like to make a donation online, you can go directly to the Winona Volunteer Services website: www.winonavs.org. Indicate “10 Days of Giving”after entering your name.