In response to a request from and in cooperation with Northland Pines School District, Feed Our Rural Kids Inc. (FORK) has created a new program in support of children called Meals Now.

“The Meals Now program, a collaborative effort between Feed Our Rural Kids and the Northland Pines School District, will deliver its first supplemental meals to children this Thursday (April 2),” said Northland Pines District Administrator Scott Foster. “Those meals will be delivered as part of the district’s food distribution program.” 

The immediate projected cost for the program is $24,000, according to  FORK President Perry Pokrandt. 

“That is why we are excited to announce that FORK received a financial grant from the Marshfield Clinic Health System/ Security Health Plan (MCHS/SHP) COVID-19 Community Support Fund for $5,000,” he said.

“The MCHS/SHP COVID-19 Community Support Fund will distribute up to $400,000 to initiate or sustain efforts focused on addressing community needs associated with the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Simone Fevola, grant officer for the Center for Community Health Advancement.

“The MCHS/SHP COVID-19 Community Support Fund is intended to provide financial resources quickly and easily to local community organizations who can help flatten the curve by addressing local needs and issues associated with COVID-19,” said Fevola.

The Meals Now program was originally developed to support a family with children who found themselves unexpectedly homeless within the Northland Pines District, according to Pokrandt. 

The program has now evolved into a broadly conceived program that would support all children from families with fast-changing food stability. Pokrandt said examples of such situations might include events like a parent’s loss of a job, death of a parent or guardian, unexpected catastrophic illness, etc.

“This grant allows FORK to provide these kids with a hand up,” said Pokrandt. “It allows us to move from a program that provided a safety net for a limited number of children to a program that stands ready to help hundreds of children in direct response to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Foster said the Northland Pines School District reached out to FORK for aid in providing nutritional support to children during the 10 weekends left of this school year.

“It was through a collaborative effort with my staff and FORK representatives that Meals Now is here,” said Foster.

FORK was created in order to provide nutritional support to school-aged children from food-insecure homes within the Northland Pines School District.

“Meals Now is in perfect sync with that mission,” said Foster, who is also vice president of FORK.

FORK is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. People can support FORK and the Meals Now programs by visiting feedourruralkids.org. They can donate financially via PayPal, credit card or debit card. To contribute by check, people can mail a donation to FORK, 4887 Echo Ridge Drive, Eagle River, WI 54521.