General Program

HCFS is open every Monday and the first Saturday of each month (except holidays) from 9:00 a.m. until noon. Any resident of Sawyer County, Birchwood, Cable, Springbrook, or Stone Lake is eligible to receive assistance from HCFS. Enrollment is confidential and simple. No appointment is needed; just bring proof of address and an id to register. No proof of income is ever required. Individuals can come once each month to receive a generous three-day supply of food. For details check the information provided under the “Need Food” and the “Brochure” tabs.


HCFS has been an authorized food distributor in the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) since 2020. TEFAP is a Federal program that provides no-cost groceries for households that have incomes up to 300% of the federal poverty level.  HCFS will provide TEFAP food once a month along with our general program. Click here to get more information about qualifying income levels for TEFAPNote: TEFAP does require HCFS to ask about the family income levels but no proof of income is ever requested.

Birthday Bags

When available, birthday bags are given to children ages 3 to 9 during their birthday month.

Food 4 Kids

Food 4 Kids is a year round “backpack” program that provides weekend meals to participating children who attend Hayward Public Schools, LCO Schools, Northern Lights Christian Academy or St. Francis Mission School. During the school year, weekend meals are provided weekly to the children at school. The food is distributed each Friday (or the last scheduled school day) at school.

Registration forms for the Food 4 Kids program are available at the school offices or click here to download a form. Registration Form

Food 4 Kids Summer Program

During the summer (June, July and August), food for up to 8 extra meals may be picked up each month at the food shelf.  Every child that attends any Hayward Public School, LCO School, Northern Lights Christian Academy, Northern Waters Environmental Charter School, St. Francis Mission School, or home schooled through one of these schools is eligible.

ATTENTION PARENTS:  Will your child need food assistance this summer? If your child attends one of the Hayward public schools, LCO schools, Northern Lights Christian Academy, Northern Waters Environmental Charter School, St. Francis Mission School, or is home schooled through one of these schools and will need food assistance this summer, now is the time to sign up for the 2024 Hayward Community Food Shelf’s Food 4 Kids Summer Program.  There is NO COST to the parent or child for this program. Click here to download a Bulletin with additional information and a registration form.  Forms are also available from the schools and at the Hayward Community Food Shelf (HCFS).  Completed forms should be returned to the schools. Late enrollment forms may be submitted to HCFS.

F4K boxes will be available starting Saturday, June 1st and can be picked up at HCFS during regular hours of operation by parents each month during the summer.  There is no charge for this food and families do not need to be clients of the Hayward Community Food Shelf to receive this food. 

Please note:

Food 4 Seniors

Emergency bags of food are provided in conjunction with the Sawyer County Senior Resource Center’s Meals on Wheel Program. Click here to get more information about the Senior Resource Center: Home – Sawyer County Senior Resource Center – Serving the residents of Sawyer County in the beautiful northwoods of Wisconsin (

Need Food Now ? Food 4 Transition

New to the area? The Food Shelf is not always open, but food is always available through our Food 4 Transition Program. If you need food for yourself and your family, stop in at the Sawyer Co. Sheriff’s Office to get a box of food. The Sheriff’s office is located at 15880 5th St. in downtown Hayward. Then come in to the Food Shelf on Monday morning or the first Saturday of each month from 9:00 – 12:00 a.m. to register and receive food through our regular food program.

Summer Picnic

In addition to regular food given to clients, ingredients for an end-of-the summer picnic are usually distributed in August.

Holiday Meals

An extra meal is given in November to help families celebrate a holiday. Those who don’t come in November may receive their holiday meal in December.

Additional programs may be available periodically at the discretion of the Board.