Feed Our Rural Kids (FORK) hosts the Children Pantry Program which provides more convenient access to food support to food insecure households with children across central and eastern Vilas County.

Currently there are four Children’s Pantry locations — Eagle River, Land O’ Lakes and St. Germain elementary schools, plus a location within the Phelps School District building.

“FORK’s planned 2022 expansion of a Children’s Pantry into Sayner at the Plum Lake Public Library and into Conover at the town hall is an important next step for the program,” said Jean Arndt, Children’s Pantry committee chairperson.

Town leaders in both Sayner and Conover are enthusiastic about the program heading to their area.

“The availability of a Children’s Pantry at the library supports our view of the Plum Lake Library as a valuable resource within our community,” said Emilie Braunel, Plum Lake Public Library director.

“We are excited that FORK is placing a Children’s Pantry within the Conover Town Hall as a resource for the children of our community,” said Conover Town Clerk Kendra Lederer.

The opening dates for the Conover and Sayner Children’s Pantry locations in 2022 have yet to be set and specific opening date information will be released at a later date.

“The objective of the program is to bring nutritional support to food insecure children as close to where they live as possible. By positioning Children Pantries in these two public locations in Sayner and Conover, not only is their support more convenient, but the new locations also increase the number of hours a week that food support is available to local families,” added Arndt.

According to FORK President Perry Pokrandt, the basic concept of the Children’s Pantry program is “take what you need, give what you can.”

“We envision that each Children’s Pantry location will succeed as a partnership with the community it serves,” said Pokrandt. “To be successful, we invite individuals, businesses, and organizations to adopt their hometown’s Children’s Pantry. That is where the ‘give what you can’ comes in. You can adopt a pantry simply by dropping off kid-friendly food donations at the Children’s Pantry location in your area.”

Individuals can contribute financially to this effort by going online at feedourruralkids.org/childrens-pantry or mailing a contribution to: FORK Children’s Pantry, 4887 Echo Ridge Dr., Eagle River, WI 54521.

For more information on FORK’s Children’s Pantry as a food resource, contact childrenspantry@feedourruralkids.org or call Jean Arndt at (309) 647-0474. For specific hours of the nearest Children’s Pantry location, call Northland Pines Elementary School resource Katie Stuckemeyer at (715) 479-8989, ext. 4528 or Phelps School District resource Jason Pertile at (715) 545-2724, ext. 115.

FORK is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.