Living up to their pledge to provide nutritional support to school-aged children from food-insecure homes, Feed Our Rural Kids (FORK) has already expanded its reach by rolling out a summer program that will help kids outside the school year.

Called Fork Cares, the June through August program will offer the delivery of food packages to children whose families qualify for free school meals in the Northland Pines School District.

That is in addition to the group’s first initiative, which is improving public awareness, raising funds and significantly increasing the number of families that take advantage of school meal programs and weekend backpack offers from area churches.

Start-up of this organization is significant because more than 200 youths in the district are challenged by hunger. Many aren’t getting the wholesome foods and nutrition their bodies need to support normal growth and development.

Officials estimate that 22 percent of the children in Vilas County live in poverty and that many families, for various reasons, are not making full use of food pantries, government-funded assistance programs, school meals and weekend supplements.

The program got a huge boost in late November when an area family made an anonymous $5,000 donation to Fork Cares, which will require a total of nearly $20,000 to provide an estimated 5,400 meals to children in the summer of 2020.

It is our hope that area residents, organizations and businesses in the communities served by the school district will find a way to raise funds to stop childhood hunger. We raise money for many worthwhile projects, yet there always seems to be room for more good causes in this land of generous, caring people.

Time for public service on a municipal board?

If you’ve got some spare time, an objective mind and a will to serve the public, maybe it is time to consider running for a town, school board or city council seat. You might be the right candidate for the job.

The terms of all 42 county supervisors in Vilas and Oneida counties will expire next April, and there are public service posts expiring on school boards in Northland Pines, Phelps and Three Lakes districts. There are also two terms expiring on the five-person town boards in Arbor Vitae, Cloverland, Conover, Lincoln, Phelps, St. Germain and Three Lakes.

Candidates began circulating nomination papers Dec. 1 to get on the ballot for the spring election, which is set April 7, 2020. It’s a tough, thankless job, but representing constituents has given many a feeling of significance that no other public service work can provide.

Behind the editorial ‘we’

   Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and reporters Doug Etten and Michelle Drew.