A free pulled pork meal to support the Backpack Attack program in Osakis will be served Wednesday, Aug. 28 from 4 to 7 p.m. (or until the food is gone).

It will take place at the Osakis School Cafeteria during the public schools’ open house.

The Osakis Hunger Coalition, which organizes the effort with churches, service clubs and local businesses, describes the free meal as both a fundraiser and a "friend raiser."

All free-will donations will support Backpack Attack in Osakis. The meal will also include chips, milk and ice cream.

The goal is to make people aware there is help for families with food insecurities and to fill the need within the larger community to provide children with food throughout the school year.

More than 35 percent of households in the school district qualify for free or reduced lunches, the coalition noted. In some cases, children rely on the school lunch program as their primary nutrition during the school year.

Last year, the coalition distributed nearly 1,700 bags of food to elementary aged students during the school year. Each backpack contains nutritional food for two breakfasts, two dinners and two snacks to bridge the nutritional gap over the weekends.

It takes only about $4 to fill each bag with these items, thanks to the coalition’s partnership with United Way of Pope and Douglas Counties, and North Country Food Bank.

Each year, it takes more than $7,500 to meet the need in the Osakis community.