Channel One Regional Food Bank wins $500,000 All-Star Fans Choose grant

Out of seven Upper Midwest nonprofit organizations, Channel One Regional Food Bank (Rochester) was voted as the winner of the first-ever $500,000 “All-Star Fans Choose” grant, the Minnesota Twins and Major Baseball League announced Monday. 

The remaining six finalists, including Camp Fire Minnesota (Chanhassen), Cookie Cart (Minneapolis), Hmong American Farmers Association (Vermillion), Madison Claire Foundation (Woodbury), Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge (St. Michael) and People Serving People (Minneapolis), will each receive a $50,000 grant to further their missions.

Nearly 75,000 fans participated in the vote, an “overwhelming number” Bryan Donaldson, executive director of the Minnesota Twins Community Fund, said he is thankful for.

“We’re thrilled to have offered this opportunity to local nonprofits thanks to the generosity of the Major League Baseball, the Pohlad Family Foundation and the Minnesota Twins Community Fund,” Donaldson said in a statement Monday.

Channel One Regional Food Bank, which works to help feed people in need, plans to use the grant to add more than 20,000 square feet of warehouse space at its Rochester location and build a kitchen and classroom to better serve and feed those in need.

A panel of judges, consisting of representatives from the MLB, the local community and the Twins, determined the seven finalists from a pool of about 100 nonprofit groups from Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and western Wisconsin.

The MLB, the Twins and the Pohlad Family Foundation made the $800,000 donation possible to leave a lasting legacy from the MLB All-Star Game throughout Twins territory. The grant is part of the most extensive legacy giving program in Midsummer Classic history.