Three Lakes School District introduces new FORK pantry

By Vilas News-Review, Posted on January 31, 2023

Construction of the pantry, built by students within the Three Lakes School District, was overseen by teacher Brad Volkmann. Showing off their work are, kneeling in front from left, Doug Koshuta and Reece Bollman; and standing in back, FORK President Perry Pokrandt, students Blake Slizewski and Logan Anderson, and Volkmann. —Photos By Jennifer West

A new Feed Our Rural Kids (FORK) food pantry is now open for use at the Three Lakes campus.

The pantry was officially opened Jan. 25, and will give Three Lakes students and area families easy access to needed food items. The pantry cabinet is located in the Three Lakes main entrance by the large gym and is available to the public whenever the school building is open.

The cabinet was built by students within the district, and the construction was overseen by tech ed instructor Brad Volkmann.

“The program will be a difference-maker for many of our district’s children and their families,” said Three Lakes District Administrator Teri Maney. “We know that convenient access to food will aid our families, while the availability of the pantry will be used as a resource by our teachers in support of the children in their care.”

The Three Lakes pantry is the seventh FORK food pantry to open in the North Woods. Other locations include Phelps School District, Conover Town Hall, Plum Lake Public Library, and Northland Pines elementary buildings in Eagle River, Land O’ Lakes and St. Germain.

Displaying the new FORK pantry located at the Three Lakes main entrance are FORK Children’s Pantry Committee Chairperson Jean Arndt, FORK volunteer in charge of the pantry Jennifer Statz, District Administrator Teri Maney, and FORK President Perry Pokrandt.

“We are excited about adding Three Lakes to the list of communities we serve,” said FORK Children’s Pantry Committee Chairperson Jean Arndt. “The concept is simple; the more accessible food is to children, the higher the probability that they will receive the nutritional support they need. If a family needs help feeding their kids, the pantry is open to them for dinner that night or lunch over the weekend.”

This is the second FORK program at Three Lakes School District. The district also participates in FORK’s Weekend Backpack Program, which supplies students in need with food on Friday afternoons.

In the future, the district plans to extend the food pantry cabinet program to Sugar Camp Elementary.

Three Lakes School District families who are interested in signing up for the Weekend Backpack Program should contact high school guidance counselor Ryan Bock or elementary guidance counselor Cristin Opall. Families interested in using the food pantry cabinet are encouraged to take what they need. The pantry cabinet will be managed by Three Lakes resident and FORK volunteer Jennifer Statz.

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