Rochester 5-year-old's lemonade stand raises $400 for food pantry

Olivia Hepner is a Rochester 5-year-old with a giving heart well beyond her years. She spent a sunny Wednesday hosting a lemonade stand outside her home.

She is helping her community by collecting donations for the Freedge. The Freedge is a community pantry and refrigerator tucked away outside the back of the Rochester Police Department.

"(The Freedge) has two sides here - we have a pantry full of canned goods and other things people have dropped off for those in need and we also have the refrigerator and freezer section," said Police Chief Steve Schettenhelm.

Olivia's family says she raised more than $400 for the food pantry and she is planning on hosting more lemonade stands.

"Hunger strikes everywhere it could be the person next-door to us, it could be the person down the street," said Rebecca Hepner, her mother. "Just knowing we are have the ability and Olivia is raising money to put a dinner on somebody’s table tonight or maybe the breakfast tomorrow morning, just makes my heart happy."

Chief Schettenhelm says they started the Freedge last summer.

"This is a situation where people can come out in a rather discreet way, and get the kind of food and things they need," he said.

He said he is noticing more people in need are stopping by as prices are raising with the cost of inflation.

"I think it’s important that we try to provide a need for those people that are out there that are having trouble making it from paycheck to paycheck," he said. 

Olivia Hepner

Olivia Hepner