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In 2016, 31.6% of low-income households were food insecure, compared to the national average of 12.3%. That's well over a quarter of low-income households not sure where their next meal is coming from. Or next week's meals.

This is a big deal, and in Rochester, Minnesota, the United Way of Olmsted County is teaming up with Channel One for a panel discussion to report on food security pre and post-pandemic.

Rebuilding the Future of Food Security and 2021 Maude Finch Spotlight

What's the plan?

  • On Friday the 25th, from 11 - 12:15 at the Channel One Regional Food Bank, there will be the presentation of the 8th Annual Maude Finch Award and a Panel Discussion on Food Security, including the first public tour of Channel One’s reimagined Food Shelf

Who's On The Panel?

Virginia Merritt - Channel One Executive Director (Used with permission)
  • Seven women nonprofit leaders.
    • Virginia Merritt (Executive Director of Channel One and Maude Finch recipient that day)
    • Fatima Ahmed and Khadija (Founders of Pamoja)
    • Erika Peña (Outreach Specialist with Meadow Park Imitative and
      Family Service Rochester)
    • Ponloeu Chim (IMAA Retiree, 2020 Maude Finch Award Recipient)
    • Julie Brock (Executive Director of Cradle 2 Career)
    • Laken Jefferson (Major & Planned Giving Associate at United Way of Olmsted County).

Click HERE if you'd like to attend in person. 

Click HERE to attend via Zoom. 

 What Is Food Insecurity?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) says food insecurity is the disruption of food intake or eating patterns because money is lacking. Food insecurity does not necessarily cause hunger, but hunger can come from food insecurity.

The USDA divides food insecurity into the following 2 categories:

  • Low food security: “Reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet. Little or no indication of reduced food intake.”
  • Very low food security: “Reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.”

I don't want to throw a lot of numbers at you, but these percentages are striking...

  • In 2016, black non-Hispanic households were nearly 2 times more likely to be food insecure than the national average (22.5% versus 12.3%, respectively).
  • Among Hispanic households, the prevalence of food insecurity was 18.5% compared to the national average (12.3%).

Food deserts are also a factor...that's anyplace without a full service supermarket. When you have to rely on convenience stores of small markets for your food, the cost is going to be greater, which makes it even harder to build food security. This can be in a big city, or a small town.

The conversation about this should be powerful, and very worth your while. There's a limit of 25 people in-person at the Channel One Regional Food Bank, but there's plenty of room on Zoom.

Click HERE if you'd like to attend in person. 

Click HERE to attend via Zoom. 

Channel One Regional Food Bank (Credit: Google)

Please consider this opportunity to better understand our community and the amazing work being done in our community to alleviate and change food insecurity to security. Plus, be motivated during the Maude Finch Award presentation.

What Is the Maude Finch Award?

"This prestigious award given by United Way of Olmsted County's Women United recognizes a community woman whose service or achievements are outstanding examples of living united to advance the common good in our community by giving, advocating and/or volunteer service to United Way of Olmsted County or United Way partners." (United Way of Olmsted County)



The award recognizes the past and the present. Maude Finch was the recording secretary of the Rochester Community Chest. In 1925 she was paid $20 for her clerical services and donated the money right back to the organization. In the present, the Women United continue to recognize women embodying Maude Finch’s giving spirit in the community.

CREDIT: Urban Flair and United Way

Nominees are recognized for their action, results, and time in one or more of the building blocks for a good quality of life – education, health, income, and basics needs. The nominee’s service or achievements should have contributed to creating a better community by helping to improve people's lives.

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know:

Listen to James Rabe and Jessica Williams 6a to 10a on Y-105 FM's Early Morning Show.

And just for fun....

10 Weird Minnesota Town Names All Within 75 Minutes of Rochester

All states have their fair share of odd town names, but I feel like Minnesota has more than most. Here are 10 weird Minnesota town names that are all in southeast Minnesota and within 75 minutes of Rochester, Minnesota.