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FORK & Faith Lutheran Church to launch weekend backpack program in Three Lakes


Pastor Catie Ford is new to the Three Lakes community. She started her position at Faith Lutheran Church in November. But being new isn’t slowing her down from supporting her new home.

“The church is all about helping others and doing what Jesus would do. There are countless points in scripture where Jesus was feeding other people. It’s really important for us to do that same work. That’s what we’re called to do as Christians,” said Ford.

It’s why when Perry Pokrandt with Feed Our Rural Kids reached out about expanding the weekend backpack program to Three Lakes, Ford didn’t hesitate.

“It’s a great way to be involved in our community, to let folks know that we’re here and that we care about them,” said Ford.

FORK started with the Northland Pines School District and more recently expanded to Phelps School District.

Going to Three Lakes next just made sense to Pokrandt.

“I look at my community as this circle and the center is downtown Eagle River. Three Lakes falls squarely into that,” he said.

The weekend backpack program is an effective way to reach students most in need. Right now, children can get free meals at school, but having a reliable food source is not always easy.

“Those children from food insecure homes go home on the weekends. There isn’t always a reliable source, thus the name food insecurity, for nutrition. So the backpack program ensures that they have a degree of continuity when it comes to getting the nutrition they need every day of the week,” said Pokrandt.

FORK will help with some of the logistics of the program in Three lakes with the School District and the church. It will also fund the first year of the program.

Pastor Ford and those at Faith Lutheran Church will be collecting the food, putting together the backpacks, and delivering them to the school.

“We’re in the process of putting together a schedule now for volunteers so we’re just creating that list. We would love all the help that we could get,” said Ford.

You can call to the church to help out, (715) 546-2770.

FORK has also set up a link on its website to support the program financially.

To qualify for this program, household family income levels must be at or 130% of the federal poverty level. Registration forms will be sent home to all families in the Three Lakes School District during the week of March 14th.

Children whose families economically qualify for this help will then start taking home ‘Weekend Backpacks’ on Friday April 1st.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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