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Vilas Food Pantry to partner with FORK

July 24, 2020

The Vilas Food Pantry is partnering with Feed Our Rural Kids (FORK) in the creation of an innovative program to invite new families to visit the food pantry. The goal is to provide a greater level of stability for families and their children from food insecure homes.

“This new program, referred to as the Pantry’s Helping Hand, is an effort to break down perceived misconceptions felt by families not familiar with the level of support available to them at the Vilas Food Pantry,” Vilas Food Pantry president Jackie Coghlan said. The invitation will consist of two monthly food deliveries directly to the homes of families currently receiving support through the FORK Cares program. “Families participating in the FORK Cares program qualify for the Pantry’s Helping Hand through the school district and the eligibility guidelines of the food pantry.”

“FORK exists to help fill in the gaps between the specific needs of the children and the current program help that is available,” FORK president Perry Pokrandt said. “Since the very creation of FORK, our board of directors have had ongoing discussions around the challenge of connecting those families with nutritional needs with the help that is available within our community.” 

“With Perry and I being on the board of directors for both organizations, this type of collaborative effort is a more natural fit,” Coghlan said. “With FORK willing to help fund the Pantry’s Helping Hand effort, the decision to extend this hand was simple.”

Pokrandt said if the program is successful, the pantry will be servicing a few more families each month.

“Of course, the Pantry will then look to the community for a bit of additional support around the ongoing cost of providing for those increased needs,” he said.

The plan for the future of the Panty’s Helping Hand will be to provide this sort of invitation again next summer in order to mitigate food insecurity for those families and their kids. 

“We hope we can continue to expand the pantry by supporting the nutritional needs of more families and thus helping more children,” Coghlan said. 

Individuals wishing to contribute to the Vilas Food Pantry can mail a check to Vilas Food Pantry P.O. Box 761, Eagle River WI 54521. Individuals wishing to support the programs of Feed Our Rural Kids can make their check to FORK 4887 Echo Ridge Dr., Eagle River, WI

Individuals looking for more information related to the Vilas Food Pantry can call the Vilas Food Pantry director Sandy Weber at 715-479-9591

Both FORK and the Vilas Food Pantry are registered 501c3 nonprofit organizations.

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