Lion’s Club Donates $1,000 to FORK

By Vilas County News-Review, Posted on February 4, 2020

Eagle River Lions Club member John Hletko, left, presents Perry Pokrandt of Feed Our Rural Kids (FORK) with a $1,000 check to support FORK Cares. —STAFF PHOTO

The Eagle River Lions Club presented Feed Our Rural Kids (FORK) Inc. a $1,000 donation last week.

Lions Club President John Hletko presented the check to FORK President Perry Pokrandt.

“With this donation of over 280 meals, we have fully funded the $20,000 FORK Cares program budget for this summer,” said Pokrandt.

“The Lions are excited to get behind an effort like FORK Cares, as one of the Eagle River Lions Club’s missions is to help the children in our area,” said Hletko. “Helping FORK fight the problem of children’s food insecurity in our area will make a difference for those kids. In fact, we have members who are looking forward to the opportunity to provide volunteer help when the package delivery time rolls around this summer.”

The mission for FORK has been, from the beginning in 2019, to provide nutritional support to school-age children from food-insecure homes within the Northland Pines School District, according to FORK Cares Chairman Deacon Rick Miech.

“FORK Cares achieves that goal through the delivery of these supplemental nutrition packages directly to the homes of food-insecure children during the isolating summer vacation months,” said Miech.

FORK Cares, an ongoing project, is working to solve the problem food-insecure children experience around the fact that during the summer they no longer have access to the basic nutrition provided by the guaranteed 10 meals a week through the school district’s meal program. In addition, during the summer, elementary children and their families are also challenged with lack of easy access to the Weekend Backpack program. Furthermore, middle and high school youths are shut off from access to supplemental food, as the Locker Program does not operate during the summer.

“The FORK Cares program will work toward filling the nutritional needs of children during the summer period while addressing logistical issues related to obtaining food not present for families during the school year,” said Pokrandt.

The 2020 FORK Cares program will address these challenges, as a first step, for the children who participate, according to Miech.

“This summer’s FORK Cares packages will consist of 12 supplemental meals and be delivered once a month directly to the child’s home address,” said Miech.

People who would like to participate financially in FORK and its continuing efforts to help youths can visit Donations may be made via cash transfer through PayPal® or via credit or debit card. Checks are welcome and can be mailed to Feed Our Rural Kids Inc., 4887 Echo Ridge Drive, Eagle River, WI 54521.

Individuals wishing to volunteer specifically to be drivers for the FORK Cares program can contact Miech at (804) 316-8288.

“Note, all drivers will be required to pass a background check to ensure the children’s safety,” said Miech. “Further, as the date for food delivery draws near, FORK will seek community-minded individuals to volunteer to fill the FORK Cares packages. Together, with community continued support, we can make this program a reality,” concluded Miech.

“The board of directors of Feed Our Rural Kids Inc. would like to take this opportunity to thank the Eagle River Lions for their generosity in helping put FORK Cares over the top for 2020,” said Pokrandt, “as well as express our appreciation for all gifts of time, treasures and talents from our greater Northland Pines family.”

FORK is a registered 501(c)(3), so financial contributions will be tax-deductible to the maximum extent in Wisconsin and U.S. tax law.

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