Concert for Kids to benefit FORK, area NAMI chapter

By FORK, Posted on April 27, 2021

“There is a common refrain, often heard, in these challenging times. That is ‘we are all in this together,’” offered Perry Pokrandt, president of Feed Our Rural Kids Inc. (FORK).

Following that theme, FORK has announced its second annual Concert for the Kids will be a fundraising collaboration with the Northern Lakes chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI).”

NAMI Northern Lakes is the local branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental-health organization.

FORK is focused on providing nutritional support to children from food insecure homes within eastern and central Vilas County.

Together, they will utilize funds raised from the concert to support children from food insecure homes and families challenged by mental illness.

“The natural synergy between NAMI and FORK may not be immediately understandable. However, research published in the Journal of Nutrition makes our connection clear. It concludes that as the severity of food insecurity increases, so do the odds of youth having a mental disorder when compared with children from food secure households,” said Pokrandt.

“There are those who have talked about the elimination of food insecurity acting as a vaccine against certain types of mental illness, as food insecurity can exacerbate mental illness in children,” continued Pokrandt.

Any measure that NAMI can take to help parents affected by mental illness, will help children, according to NAMI Executive Director Mick Fiocchi.

“Science has revealed that adult mental illness can exacerbate food insecurity for children in the household,” said Fiocchi.

“By working together, we are going to tell this intersection of the FORK and NAMI story as we work to mitigate food insecurity and minimize the potential for the development of mental illness in children and young adults,” added Pokrandt.

All proceeds from the online concert will benefit the community service of the two grassroots, non-profit organizations

“Our collaboration will provide the community with a clear insight into the connection between childhood food insecurity and mental illness in children and adults, while providing a necessary source of funding for both organizations,” said Fiocchi.

The fundraising concert itself will feature a dozen local musicians performing in a live YouTube streamed event as produced by Tomasoski Photography and Video of Eagle River. Currently, the YouTube stream is set for Saturday evening, June 5.

Individuals wishing to make an early donation to the second annual Concert for Kids can go online at feedourruralkids.org/concert.

All collected donations will be shared by FORK and NAMI in support of their overlapping missions. Both FORK and NAMI are registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.

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