Thankful Thursday: Hayfield Community Food Pantry

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(ABC 6 News) – Every Thursday through November, ABC 6 News Good Morning reporter Sydney Zatz will bring you ‘Thankful Thursday’ and feature how people in the community are giving back. This week, it’s about one Hayfield church making sure no one goes hungry.

Every Wednesday, the Cedar Creek Church hosts the Hayfield Community Food Pantry. It started back in 2020 as a way to help people during the pandemic. The church received extra food from Family Service Rochester and partnered with the school district to give food to those who need it.

That summer, the extra food was at the church and the need was rising. The church then reached out to Channel One Regional Food Bank to become a food pantry. A few years later with inflation rising and the need increasing, the pantry is seeing the impacts.

“I think our need increase has been increasing. We are kind of an open food shelf where people could take what they needed every week,” said Kerry Fjerstad, the volunteer coordinator at Hayfield Community Food Pantry.

“But the supply from Channel One has been down. So just as the costs for all of us at the grocery store has risen, the costs for us as a food shelf is rising and the food we need to get from Channel One as well. So costs are going up all over.”

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The pantry has a partnership with the Hy-Vee in Kasson to receive any extra food, especially bakery items.

Every week, the pantry sees 60 to 80 different families come through. That’s more than 1,500 pounds of food every week. Since it began, more than 400 families have registered for the pantry. It isn’t just for people in Hayfield. Organizers said people come from Rochester, Austin, and even Saint Charles.

“I think that we’re really unique in that clientals, families, can pick out what they want from our shelves and take it with them,” said Rebecca Jennings, a volunteer with the pantry. She also works to oversee how much food is distributed, and how many families stop by.

“I hear that a lot from them. They really enjoy this ‘shopping mode’ of a pantry where in some situations, people have to come and get a box, and it’s not always food that they can use.”

If you’re interested in donating, you can scan this QR code:

Courtesy: Hayfield Community Food Pantry

You can also drop off different items, or garden produce. Right now the pantry is specifically asking for:

  • Pancake Mix
  • Syrup
  • Jelly
  • Condiments
  • Pickles
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Pudding Mix
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cooking Oil
  • Cake Mixes
  • Alfredo Sauce
  • Spam
  • Canned Fruit
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Spices
  • Salad Dressings

The pantry is open every Wednesday from 4 – 6 p.m. There is no requirement to come and register to get food.

If you or someone you know is making an extra effort to give back to the community, submit them for Thankful Thursday. Email Sydney Zatz at