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FORK’s recently expanded endowment fund already being put to use


Earlier this year, Feed Our Rural Kids or FORK made the decision to expand.

For three years, its efforts had been focused on food insecure families in Vilas County.

In September, FORK announced it would start supporting other organizations in Oneida County as well through its FORK Endowment Fund.

It’s already been able to support some of them with a recent donation to the Oneida County Social Services for Thanksgiving food baskets for families, according to FORK President Perry Pokrandt.

“Just a few weeks ago, the Oneida County Department of Social Services came to the endowment saying, ‘Hey we could use a little help.’ Just yesterday we handed over a check for $750 to Social Services to provide those meals across our county’s families. We’re really excited for families to help out in that way,” said Pokrandt.

The Social Services Department has been delivering Thanksgiving food baskets for several years now. The $750 will cover about 15 of the meal baskets Social Services will deliver.

Pokrandt is excited to see the endowment fund as it’s intended: as a way to fill gaps and support other organizations in the community that are working to solve food insecurity.

“FORK as an organization was built to fill in the gaps between the programs that existed, like the food pantries and the backpack programs and the various specific needs,” said Pokrandt. “One of those needs was a source of funding for special projects, financing shortfalls of those organizations. That’s where the FORK endowment was created to provide that go-to source to help fund the efforts of our local organizations.”

Pokrandt encourages people to continue to donate to their local organizations and contribute to the FORK Endowment Fund if there’s extra room in their budget for donations.

His hope is with multiple ways to give, more money will stay locally rather than go to national organizations.

“By helping raise the food insecurity IQ across our multi-county area, what’s going to happen is the donor pie is going to get bigger. More and more people are going to be compelled to help others that are less fortunate than themselves,” said Pokrandt.

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