Fifty-five students in Osakis will be a little less hungry on the weekends, thanks to the United Way of Douglas and Pope Counties "Backpack Attack" effort.

About 60 volunteers scurried from table to table at the Osakis High School Wednesday, Sept. 19 to pack the food that will be placed in backpacks for qualifying students to take home. They filled 750 bags with low-fat milk, pudding, mini beef ravioli, crackers, instant oatmeal, juice, fruit strips and cereal.

The Osakis effort is unique because it involved a partnership with the Osakis Hunger Coalition - a group of local churches that are uniting around the issue of hunger. The churches include Osakis Lutheran, Immaculate Conception, First Presbyterian, Redeemer Lutheran, Our Savior's and Fahlun Lutheran churches.

Now in its third year, the Backpack Attack effort in Osakis has provided 2,300 bags of food that are discreetly placed in backpacks. The cost of each bag is about $5.

The program is confidential and voluntary for those receiving the bags.

Other Backpack Attack events are taking place in Alexandria, Brandon-Evansville and Minnewaska. Added all together, the United Way, with support from all its partners, will distribute more than 500 bags full of food across Douglas and Pope counties on a weekly basis this school year so students won't have to go hungry on the weekends.

For more information about the effort or to help, call the local United Way at 320-834-7800 or go the website,