Letter to the Editor:

After introducing local fundraising efforts around the FORK Cares supplemental nutrition packages to be delivered this next summer, the community’s generosity has been on display.

Following the News- Review articles published over the last few weeks, it’s become clear just how much this community cares about solving the challenges of food insecurity faced by so many of our school-aged kids.

In case you missed it, FORK Cares is a summertime nutritional support program for school-aged children from food insecure homes within the Northland Pines School District. Children who register and qualify for this program will receive 12 supplemental meals delivered to their homes monthly during the Northland Pines summer recess. 

Registration forms will be available in the schools and through a registration link on the feedourruralkids.org website after the holiday break when school is back in session.

In the past several weeks, since that first announcement of the program, Feed Our Rural Kids (FORK) has received donations to help provide over 2,800 meals. This includes the 450-meal donation by DaVita Kidney Care. Combined, this is a great start toward our goal of the 5,400 total meals to be distributed this coming summer.

Many people don’t know this, but Feeding America research shows that the cost of a meal in Vilas Country is $3.55. That is 28% more than the average cost of the same meal across Wisconsin. 

So it follows that feeding a family is a sizably larger challenge in the communities that make up the Northland Pines School District than other places within the state. That’s just one of the reasons we need so much help.

But despite initial success, FORK is still in need of individuals to step forward and make their donations to help food insecure kids. A summer’s worth of FORK Cares packaged meals for a single child, 36 total supplemental meals delivered over the summer months, requires a donation of $127.80. Individuals can choose to donate a month’s worth of 12 FORK Cares packaged meals for $42.60, or can help one kid with just one extra meal for a donation of $3.55. Whatever you can do to help make a difference for those kids will be greatly appreciated.

The holiday giving season is half over, while at the same time, giving for next year is just about to begin. The challenge is in front of all of us to help children from food insecure homes reach their full potential in life. 

As the president of the Feed Our Rural Kids board of directors, I can say that we look forward to getting the financial help we will need in order to make that a reality. 

Perry Pokrandt

Eagle River