For immediate release.
February 28, 2019
WATERTOWN, SD – The Lake Area Technical Institute Student Food Pantry recently received a boost to its shelves in the form of 90 pounds of ground beef and a variety of Easy Skillet meals. Donors include the Coteau Hills Cattlemen’s Association, County Fair Food Store of Watertown, and the Lake Area Tech Ag Department.
Lake Area Tech opened the Student Food Pantry in 2017 in response to a growing number of students who could not afford to purchase food. The pantry began with a few items available for students. Shortly after opening, the Student Food Pantry received significant cash donation from the Watertown Elks Lodge #838 and the Watertown Optimist Club to assist in adequately filling the shelves.
“Even with financial aid, most students still need to work part-time or even full-time to pay rent and bills,” Director of Student Services, Marketing, and Public Relations LuAnn Strait said. “Food is often not seen as important as a place to live, so a majority, if not all of their paychecks go to rent. Lake Area Tech staff and students have done many annual food drives over the years for the community pantries but realized that there was becoming a critical need on campus. With changes in financial aid availability, the cost to attend college, and the overall cost of living, it is financially difficult for many students. A lot of students do not receive financial help from home and end up having to make a choice between school and work.”
Currently, the Student Food Pantry is located in the Leonard Timmerman Library on campus. Students are encouraged to stop by anytime during the library’s regular hours, which are Monday through Wednesday 7:30 AM – 8 PM, Thursday 7:30 AM – 6:30 PM, and Friday 7:30 AM – 4 PM. No appointment is necessary and no questions are asked.
Photo: Ag students help prepare Easy Skillet packages for the Student Food Pantry.