Two new FORK pantries open within Pines district

By Vilas News-Review, Posted on October 3, 2023

Feed Our Rural Kids (FORK) has opened two new pantry locations within the Northland Pines School District.

“We are excited to be opening our ninth and 10th FORK Pantry locations this week,” announced FORK Pantry Chairperson Jean Arndt. “Our goal is, and has been, to get our pantry locations as close to the need as possible.”

New pantries are now set up within Northland Pines Middle and High School as part of the Locker and within the SOAR High School.

“Children of these ages are able to self-help,” continued Arndt. “Our goal in these two new locations is to provide the kids an opportunity to take what they need for after school, while in school, or the weekends.”

FORK set up its first four FORK Pantry locations in June of 2022 within the Eagle River, Land O’ Lakes, St. Germain, and Phelps elementary school locations. Since then, it has added locations within the Conover Town Hall, Three Lakes School, Plum Lake Public Library, Sugar Camp Elementary School, and St. Germain Community Center, which replaced the St. Germain Elementary School location earlier this year.

Now, each of these 10 FORK Pantry locations stands as an opportunity to better support area children by providing families access to food for dinners, lunches, breakfasts, or snacks at times when the area local food pantry is not open.

Some of the items on hand at the pantry locations include granola bars, cheese and peanut butter cracker packs, applesauce, breakfast cereals, pop tarts, macaroni and spaghetti noodles, spaghetti sauce, dried eggs, hash brown mix (dried), Hamburger Helper, varieties of Chef Boyardee, canned fruit, canned vegetables, nacho cheese, oatmeal, cake mix, dried milk, juice boxes, instant rice, fruit snacks, ketchup, mustard, cinnamon, salt, pepper, cooking oil, various seasonings, graham crackers, canned meats, various varieties of soup, bread mixes, peanut butter, various jelly flavors, Craisins and raisins, flour and sugar.

Additionally, individuals who are inclined to help others can donate via a food collection bin which is located under each pantry so as to accept youth-friendly food donations. Financial contributions also can be made at

Families whose children have special dietary needs can contact Jean Arndt at 309-647-0474 to discuss the needs of their child. Families who are in need of baby food or formula can also reach out for help meeting their individual needs.

“Area food pantry hours are limited by the number of hours volunteers can give to support the pantry operation,” Arndt added. “FORK Pantry hours are varied on a location-by-location basis, but are available over 40 hours a week.”

To learn more about the FORK Pantry program, visit

FORK is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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