FORK Expands into the Three Lakes School District
Under normal circumstances it can be challenge for some families to secure every meal for their children.
According to Feeding America data, an estimated 70% of children living in Oneida County in 2019 were eligible for federal nutrition programs because of their family’s income level.
Add in a pandemic and rising inflation, and budgets for many families are a lot tighter than they used to be.
Three Lakes School District Superintendent Teri Maney says the district provides breakfast, lunch, and even a second breakfast to students.
“But that’s a long time between Friday lunchtime and Monday breakfast. We really worry about making sure that there’s food for the kids in the home for those families who need it over the weekend,” she said.
To help ensure students are being well fed, even when they’re not in school, the district is teaming up with Feed Our Rural Kids.
Maney says they’ll be starting out small with plenty of room to grow.
“We just want to be able to support everyone in any way that we can. With FORK being willing to reach out to us with their organization and their willingness to work with the other community organizations, they really just need us as a hub point to get up and running and we are more willing to do our part in that,” said Maney.
FORK offers several programs to help food insecure families.
Part of the work with the district is helping identify those students who might need some extra food and figuring out the best way to meet that need.
Maney has seen firsthand how having enough food supports the overall wellbeing of students.
She says teachers noticed a different in students after the district started the second breakfast option. Students are able to grab and go with some food around mid to late morning.
“We have seen kids who feel better, who are now eating lunches who didn’t eat before. They are ready to be fueled up get through the day. We know that good food and nutrition, when it’s available, they’re going to take advantage of it. It’s helps both academically and mentally,” said Maney.
FORK started in the district last month. You can learn more about the resources they provide on FORK’s website.