The Hayward Community Food Shelf (HCFS) has announced the 2019 HCFS Fill the Cooler/Freezer Match Challenge will run from July 1 through Aug. 31, with a goal to raise $5,000 during the time period, which then would be matched with an additional $5,000 from private donors. 

With contributions from many businesses, organizations and individuals, HCFS recently purchased a new cooler-freezer to replace the small, and costly-to-repair 10-yar-old units. HCFS can now accept and safely store larger amounts of produce, perishable foods and frozen foods. 

Sawyer County continues to experience some of the highest poverty levels in the state. According to Feeding America, one in seven people living in Sawyer County is food insecure. That means more than 2,300 people in Sawyer County are without enough food in their pantries or on their tables. Many of these are children and seniors.

Last year, HCFS distributed more than 300,000 pounds of food. Families can come once a month and receive a generous three-day supply of food through the general program. HCFS also provides food through Food 4 Kids (year-round), Food 4 Seniors (twice each year), Summer Picnic (August), Holiday Meal (November or December), Birthday Bag (for ages 3-9) and Bonus Corner (2-3 months each year). 

HCFS can make donated dollars go further than you think. For example, chicken through FMP is only 16 cents a pound, a can of tomato soup is 42 cents and a can of corn is 19 cents. Dollars raised during this fundraiser are critical to keep HCFS open, shelves adequately stocked and the new cooler-freezer full to help those in need throughout the year.

Those wishing to help may write a check to the Hayward Community Food Shelf and mail it to P.O. Box 779, Hayward, WI 54843. To make a fee-free credit card donation, go through the HCFS website at www.haywardfoodshelf.net. 

For more information, contact HCFS at (715) 634-HCFS (4237) or by mail at hcfs@centurytel.net. HCFS is located at 16216W Highway 63 South in Hayward. 

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