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.