By Vilas News-Review, Posted on February 15, 2023

Feed Our Rural Kids (FORK) is more than halfway to its capital campaign goal of raising $1 million to help feed hungry children in the North Woods, announced FORK President Perry Pokrandt.

“A bit over two years into a four-year fundraiser, we have just exceeded 50% of our Phase One goal with a current balance of $529,000,” Pokrandt said last week.

Feed Our Rural Kids (FORK) was formed to address the critical day-to-day nutritional needs of children from food insecure homes within the Northland Pines, Three Lakes, and Phelps school districts. The FORK Endowment was created to meet the chronic, long-term financial challenges faced by FORK and all other local organizations in addressing the childhood food insecurity issue, he explained.

According to Pokrandt, the FORK Endowment was first funded by an anonymous $100,000 founding donation in June of 2020.

“At the time, the donors were mindful that their donation could create a legacy of hope for generations of kids to come and that their grant would provide sustainability to ensure that FORK efforts to feed kids would stand the test of time,” Pokrandt said.

“FORK’s goal for the endowment is a $1 million balance by the end of 2024. We are mostly on track, but still have a long way to go,” he continued. “Investments in our children’s future are not made with the expectation of immediate return. Rather, they are made in hopes of changing the arc of their destiny.”

Pokrandt said that from early on, FORK saw the importance of creating an endowment to ensure that the promise of FORK could stand for generations to come.

“You see, the FORK promise to help feed kids was not just a promise to the children in need today. But it stands as a driving force that compels FORK to build upon the endowment’s founding donor’s vision.”

Members of the FORK Endowment Committee include Nancy Schuller, Brian Fritz and Kathy Schmitz. The role of the committee is to oversee the endowments investment portfolio and to plan the endowment’s annual giving plan, and to deliver the money, the food, or grocery certificates where they are needed most.

In 2023, FORK has already presented, or plans to provide, financial support to the Three Lakes Christian Food Pantry; the three North Woods Weekend Backpack programs run by Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Faith Lutheran Church and Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church; Northwoods Share; Headwaters Food Pantry; Eagle River Caritas; and The Vilas Food Pantry. Support also will aid in the expansion of the FORK Pantry programs into Three Lakes and Sugar Camp.

“Each year a percentage of endowment assets are distributed in support of all area efforts to feed kids,” added Pokrandt. “If individuals are currently supporting any of the above-mentioned programs, we ask that you continue your support. The kids need help. But if you have extra resources or have a passion for helping feed children across our area, then please consider a donation to the FORK Endowment.”

Donations can be made directly to the FORK Endowment at, or mailed to: FORK Endowment, 4887 Echo Ridge Dr., Eagle River, WI 54521.

“By our ability to look ahead, so far down the road, the FORK Endowment can ensure that hunger will never stand in the way of success for any child,” Pokrandt concluded.

Individuals who would like to learn more about the effects of childhood food insecurity and the role of the FORK Endowment in supporting area children in need can contact Pokrandt at

The FORK Endowment is a financial planning tool of Feed Our Rural Kids Inc, which is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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