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Feeding America CEO visits Bleu Duck Kitchen, unveils project plans to combine regional food providers

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX47) — A meeting was held outside of Bleu Duck Kitchen Wednesday, with Feeding America, Channel One Regional Food Bank and Second Harvest Heartland joining forces.

“The goal is that between October 4th and the end of November, we’ll do about 8,000 meals in Rochester. And that’s our kickoff, and then from there, we just hope that it grows,” Channel One Executive Director Virginia Merritt said.

Channel One Regional Food Bank and Second Harvest Heartland received a $200,000 collaborative grant from Feeding America. Feeding America is the largest hunger relief organization in the United States.

“Food insecurity in this country is solvable. It’s efforts like this that are gonna solve it. It’s everyone coming together in collaboration,” Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot said.

The funds will be used to expand Second Harvest’s prepared meals program to the Rochester area.

“Channel One will use our ability to rescue food and source donated food, and give it to awesome chefs like we have here at Bleu Duck, and they will make the food into helpful meals. Then, we will deliver it to the folks that need it the most,” Merritt said.

According to Feeding America, 1 in 9 Minnesotans are experiencing hunger today.

“We want to give back to the community as much as possible, as they’ve supported us through and through over the last five years, and especially over this last year,” Jennifer Lester, the co-owner of Bleu Duck Kitchen said.

Feeding America’s CEO was confident in this collaboration effort, saying it could be a model for future projects in fighting hunger.

“As we learn and as we get better and better at the work that’s gonna be done through this effort, we can then scale it across the country,” Babineaux-Fontenot said.

Noah Caplan

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