More than 120 years after first serving food at the Minnesota State Fair, the Hamline Church Dining Hall is still dishing out plates of pot roast, potatoes and its signature ham loaf.
But after a record-breaking year of State Fair visitors, its decades-old kitchen equipment can no longer keep up.
Now the dining hall — one of two left at the fair — is turning to fans to help defray the cost of replacement equipment, some of which dates to the 1970s.
The total cost, including a new dishwasher installed before this year's fair, could fall between $50,000 and $70,000, said Ray Faust, who handles the church's social media accounts.
Faust has launched an online crowdfunding effort with a $25,000 goal.
Donations to cover the expenses would allow the dining hall to continue to donate a portion of its profits to the Sheridan Story, an organization aimed at combating child hunger.
"When you start replacing this equipment, you take a pause and realize 'We are all in,' " he said, adding that the church is fully committed to the hall for years to come.
If the $25,000 goal isn't met, the church may take out a loan to cover the expenses. Faust said there's no need to worry about drastic changes to the menu.
"There's a real long-standing tradition for what we do and how we do it," he said.
"It's a quintessential Minnesotan thing."
After 50 years of volunteering, Elaine Christiansen, 88, said she's already seen the next generation of volunteers step up.
"This dining hall is an extension of the mission work of our church," she said. "We are so proud to keep it going."