Need Food?

The Hayward Community Food Shelf (HCFS) has a 37-year history of giving food to everyone who asks for it and that has not changed. All residents of Sawyer County plus all parts of Birchwood, Cable, Springbrook, or Stone Lake are eligible to receive food from HCFS. Donors give generously and HCFS volunteers work tirelessly to make sure that everyone in HCFS’ distribution area who needs and requests food assistance receives it.  All that is required is proof of residency and proof of the Social Security number for everyone in the household. First time clients do not need an appointment, but should bring their Social Security card or other legal document containing the number along with current mail (such as a utility bill) to register. Each Social Security number must be verified annually by an official Social Security card or other legal document containing the number.

Individuals receive a three-day supply of food. Every attempt is made to provide the ingredients for well-balanced meals. Clients may receive assistance one time each month. Some clients receive assistance only once while others need assistance monthly for many years. See our Programs page to learn about our special food services, including how to get food in case of an emergency (Food 4 Transition).

Forty-nine percent (49%) of our clients are adults between the ages of 18 and 59, children make up twenty-six percent (26%) and the remaining twenty-five percent (25%) are seniors. Our clients come from a wide variety of situations. Some are disabled, some are working, and some simply cannot find gainful employment in this area. Our average family size is 2.5 individuals.

In addition to the general program described above, HCFS is an authorized food distributor in the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). This is a Federal program that provides no-cost groceries for households that have incomes up to 300% of the federal poverty level. People who have lost jobs or income may obtain a monthly share of American-grown meat, vegetables, fruit, juice and more through HCFS. Enrollment is confidential and simple. Proof of address and identification are required, but proof of income is not required. HCFS will provide TEFAP food once a month starting the day of application. If a family does not meet the income requirement and still needs food assistance, just mention this when registering and other arrangements can be made.  Click here to get more information about qualifying income levels for TEFAP.



Hayward Community Food Shelf is a Dementia Friendly Organization

Hayward Community Food Shelf

When is the food shelf open?

Every Monday and the first Saturday of the month
(except holidays) from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Emergency Closing Policy:

  • Hayward Community Food Shelf may be closed for weather related issues as well as for a lack of critical resources such as electricity or volunteers.
  • If the Hayward Public Schools announce a delayed opening or an emergency closing, all HCFS programs WILL be closed for that same time period.
  • If the schools are closed for vacation and the weather and/or roads are very poor, the Hayward Community Food Shelf MAY be closed.
  • A notice will be posted as soon as possible on the Hayward Community Food Shelf Facebook page and on other local sites. Watch the Duluth television stations or listen to any of these radio stations for the announcement: WOJB – 88.9 FM, WHSM – 101.1 FM, WRLS – 92.3 FM

 Other Food Resources:

“Best Before” Date Expired?

Some food items you receive may be past the “Best Before” dates printed on the package. “Best Before” dates do not mean a product is expired. Except for infant formula, dates are not an indicator of the product’s safety.

  • “Best if Used By/Before”indicates when a product will be of best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
  • “Sell-By” date tells the store how long to display the product for sale for inventory management. It is not a safety date.
  • “Use-By”date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. It is not a safety date except for when used on infant formula.

For more information, review guidelines at: