Food pantries are meant to give people and families food for meals to help get them through the week.
But sometimes, families miss a week or can’t make during certain hours, and a child ends up going to school hungry.
Feed Our Rural Kids is introducing a new program to be another check in the system to keep that from happening.
It’s planning to open Children’s Pantries in four schools in Vilas County.
“We are here, or will be here, to mitigate immediate hunger needs. Sometimes the regular food pantries, which do a wonderful job in our county, are not open immediately. They may only be open two-three days a week, they may not have evening hours,” said Jean Arndt chairperson of the children’s pantry committee of FORK.
The pantries are being built at Northland Pines District Schools in St. Germain, Eagle River, and Land O’Lakes as well as the Phelps School District building.
Ardnt said the pantries will be open to the adults in the child’s life.
“So either a teacher or a parent or guardian of those children can be assured there will be something available to them when they have an immediate need for food right now,” said Ardnt. “We’ll have grab and go items. We’ll have some full meal items. We just hope to expand the hours of availability for when someone’s in an emergency situation.”
FORK will be building the pantries this is summer with the goal of opening them in time for the next school year.
Ardnt said they’re basing them off similar pantries in other communities.
“Many of them are fairly self-sustaining just because the community understands that hunger is a terrible thing. It’s something that they contribute to whether its one can good or a check for a thousand dollars. Both of those kinds of donations are very much needed for this,” said Ardnt.
You can contact Jean Ardnt if you’d like to help with the building process or with the stocking the pantries.
She can be reached at 309-647-0474. You can also learn more on the FORK website.