The 1-year-old nonprofit organization Feed Our Rural Kids (FORK) has received a $100,000 donation to create an endowment fund that will ensure the community’s attention to food-insecurity issues will extend to future generations of children.

While the donor family wishes to remain anonymous, its actions are incredibly generous and quite visionary — not only seeing the genuine need and great benefits of this fledgling organization, but being inspired to move quickly as they start and ensure the future success of the Tomorrow’s Kids Endowment Fund.

Since its introduction last summer to the Northland Pines School District community — the main target of this nutritional support program — FORK has been overwhelmed with public support in the form of tens of thousands of dollars in donations.

FORK has filled the gap of food insecurity by supporting a weekend food program for Pines students and also a summer meals program, both of which are having positive impacts on more than 150 kids and their families.

Despite the fact that the school district and county are served by great food pantries, government-funded assistance programs, school meal programs and churches that provide backpacks to supplement family food on the weekends, the group says that hundreds of kids from impoverished families aren’t getting the help they need.

It is estimated the 22% of the children in Vilas County live in poverty and that many are not getting the wholesome foods and nutrition that would help them succeed — too many aren’t taking advantage of the programs.

The endowment fund donation takes the program to a new level, answering the question of how FORK can ensure that tomorrow’s kids will enjoy the same support that students are getting now. However, we ask that people continue to remain focused on current programs as well, because contributions are needed.

Northern tourism group promoting great outdoors

The Northwoods of Wisconsin, a marketing consortium that represents Vilas, Oneida, Forest and four other counties, has received a nearly $40,000 state grant to promote the safe return of visitors to the beautiful lakes, rivers, forests and trails in northern Wisconsin.

We not only support this start of cooperative marketing to promote the great North Woods region, we thank the Wisconsin Department of Tourism for seeing the need at a time when room tax collections and canceled events will reduce local chamber revenues.

As the state reopens from the COVID-19 pandemic, a collaborative approach to promoting safe outdoor recreation is crucial to economic recovery. We’ve already seen an enormous boost in fishing, hiking and other outdoor recreation this spring, places where people can recreate and isolate at the same time.

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.