Juice, cereal, milk and more were placed into bags during a whirlwind of activity at the Osakis High School cafeteria Wednesday night, Jan. 29.
All the food will help hungry school children in the area through the United Way of Douglas and Pope Counties Backpack Attack effort, which is supported by the Osakis Hunger Coalition.
It capped off a busy week for the United Way program and all the volunteers who helped. They packed a total of 3,200 bags – 1,200 at Calvary Lutheran, 1,000 at Alexandria Industries and another 1,000 in Osakis, according to Jen Jabas, executive director of the United Way.
All the food items, which are discreetly placed in student backpacks, will replenish existing supplies, providing students with enough food on weekends to get through next summer, Jabas said during the Osakis event.
“We have wonderful storage space in Osakis,” she added.
Here’s a way for residents to support the Backpack Attack: On Sunday, Feb, 23, starting at 11 a.m., the Osakis Hunger Coalition is sponsoring a Backpack Attack fundraiser, the Hot Dish Cook-Off at the Osakis Community Center. A free-will donation gets you a plate to taste all the hot dishes provided by area churches and you can vote for your favorite. Ice cream will be provided for dessert.
Backpack Attack has been going on in Osakis for four years. The effort is unusual because of the partnership with the Osakis Hunger Coalition, a group of local churches that united around the issue of hunger. The churches include Osakis Lutheran, Immaculate Conception, First Presbyterian, Redeemer Lutheran, Our Savior's and Fahlun Lutheran churches.
For more information about Backpack Attack, call the local United Way at 320-834-7800 or go to the website, www.uwdp.org. The program is confidential and voluntary for those receiving the bags.