“Sometimes you just have to set goals that stretch the imagination in order to inspire the soul,” said Perry Pokrandt, president of Feed Our Rural Kids (FORK) Inc. 

“With that thought in mind, the FORK board of directors is excited to announce that they will look to deliver 10,800 meals as part of FORK Cares in the summer of 2021,” added Pokrandt.

FORK Cares’ goal is to provide supplemental nu­tri­tion to food-insecure children during the isolation of the summer vacation period. 

“The extended summer break means that those kids no longer have access to the basic nutrition provided by the guaranteed 10 meals a week through the school district’s meal program,” said Pokrandt.

During that same break, Pokrandt said elementary age children and their families are also challenged with ease of access to the Weekend Backpack program and is a time when middle and high school students are shut off from access to supplemental food through the Locker Program, which does not operate during the summer.

“This year, FORK Cares was designed as a first step toward a more comprehensive solution,” said Deacon Rich Miech, chairman of the FORK Cares program. “With goals now in place for next year, we can develop plans to make FORK Cares even more effective for our kids.

“The first of the changes planned is doubling the meals delivered per child as mentioned previously by Perry,” said Miech. “Thus, our decision to expand the program to the 10,800 total meals.” 

“The second change we’ve mapped out in order for the program to take a step forward is that meals will be delivered to the children’s homes twice a month,” added Pokrandt.

The mission for FORK is to raise money to provide nutritional support to school-age chil­­dren from food-insecure homes within the Northland Pines School District. 

“That means fundraising for FORK Cares ’21 begins now,” said Miech. “Our budget for 2021 FORK Cares will be almost $40,000 if we are to achieve our fund goal. To put it simply, we need everyone’s help. This will be an ongoing effort.”

FORK Cares works toward filling the nutritional needs of 150 children during the summer period, while addressing logistical issues related to obtaining food not present for families during the school year. It accomplishes this by delivering supplemental food packages directly to the homes of food-insecure children who have registered to participate. 

Individuals who would like to participate financially in FORK and its continuing efforts to help Northland Pines children can visit feedourruralkids.org. 

Donations may be made via cash transfer through PayPal® or via credit or debit card. Checks are also welcome and can be mailed to Feed Our Rural Kids Inc., 4887 Echo Ridge Drive, Eagle River, WI 54521.

Individuals can register to be a volunteer with FORK at feedourrural­kids.org.

FORK is a registered 501(c)(3), so financial contributions will be tax-deductible to the maximum extent in Wisconsin and following U.S. tax law.