“Sometimes the solution to a problem can seem just outside one’s reach. Often though, we only need to reach out to find that help is there.”

That statement came from Perry Pokrandt, president of Feed Our Rural Kids Inc. (FORK), who saw the new FORK Cares program receive a $5,000 donation last week.

“Reach out is what we did last week when we introduced the FORK Cares program in an article in the News-Review,” said Pokrandt.

In response, FORK found that help was there from an anonymous family from Eagle River who will donate 1,408 FORK Cares meals to the program.

“The solution for food insecurity, unpredictable hunger, certainly must seem out of reach to the hundreds and hundreds of children within the Northland Pines School District who are from food-insecure homes,” said FORK Cares Chairman Deacon Rich Miech of St. Peter the Fisherman Church in Eagle River. 

“Yet this sponsorship of up to $5,000 of meals brings us one giant step closer to making good on the promise of FORK Cares to all the kids who register this next summer,” said Miech.

The FORK Cares program will require the nonprofit organization to raise enough funds in order to provide 5,400 meals to food-insecure children during the summer recess of June, July and August. That requires just less than $20,000 in total cash donations prior to the first FORK Cares delivery.

“This donation has us, the FORK board, well on the way to meeting this challenge,” said Pokrandt. “This is a very positive way to start and we encourage others in the community to also step forward. As I have said to countless people, the FORK board believes that when the people of our community become aware of the circumstances and consequences around this food-insecurity issue affecting our kids, those who can will help.”

Board members said food insecurity peaks during the summer months.

“It is a well-known reality of the children from food-insecure homes that the summer is the toughest time of the year foodwise,” offered Miech. “It’s why this family wanted to work with FORK on this cutting-edge project of food support in our community.”

Pokrandt said FORK Cares addresses head-on the communitywide problem of childhood hunger during a child’s summer vacation. 

“We are optimistic other parents, grandparents, community members and businesses will step up,” said Pokrandt. “For example, a donation of $3.55 pays for one meal for a child who is in need. What a wonderful holiday gift idea in the name of one of your children, grandchildren, of any child.”

In their first year of the FORK Cares program, the goal is to register and support 150 children. The FORK board knows that their first-year goal doesn’t represent meeting the needs of all the children who need extra nutritional help.

“We are confident that with community support, the number of kids helped in the summers to follow will grow. It is important to deliver on this promise to hungry children,” said Miech.

The mission for FORK has been from the beginning to provide nutritional support to school-aged children from food-insecure homes within the Northland Pines School District. FORK Cares is the first outreach program taken on by this new organization.

“Individuals who would like to participate financially can donate money for meals at feedourruralkids.org,” said Miech.

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

“As the holiday giving season is upon us, FORK is seeking other community-minded individuals to help make this program a reality,” added Pokrandt.

FORK is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and financial contributions will be tax-deductible to the maximum extent of Wisconsin and U.S. tax law.