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FORK expands children’s food pantries to Phelps School District

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The new children's pantry at the Phelps School District.

Feed Our Rural Kids is expanding its children’s food pantry program.

Children’s food pantries are meant to be an emergency supply for kids and their families.

Teachers can pull food from it during the day for a student. Staff can also send food home with a student.

FORK President Perry Pokrandt said it’s not meant to replace food pantries, but fill gap for when a family can’t get to one.

“Our local food pantries are not in every community. They’re no adjacent to where everyone lives. That’s not a criticism, but it’s just simply a fact and for some people getting to the pantry is difficult,” he said.

Earlier this school year, children’s pantries were installed in St. Germain, Land O’Lakes, and Eagle River Elementary schools within the Northland Pines School District.

They’ve been going smoothly so far.

“Food insecurity isn’t necessarily an everyday thing. So sometimes it sneaks up on you and all of the sudden you get to the end of the month or end of a pay period, and you realize you don’t have what you need to feed the kids tonight. The pantry is there for that type of a purpose,” said Pokrandt.

Now, FORK has put one in the Phelps School District.

“It takes a lot of commitment to the kids to let a third party organization into your house to work with you to support your children. We give credit to the Phelps School District, and of course to Northland Pines where we started,” said Pokrandt.

Pokrandt expects the pantries to see increased use as we get into the winter months and some families lose seasonal income.

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