BUTTE — When a student group at Montana Tech conducted a poll last year, they discovered that about 40 percent of students at the Butte university reported food insecurity.
“They reported that they went without a meal or they didn’t feel like they had enough money to go buy proper nutrition,” said ASMT President Katey Sutton.
The Associated Students of Montana Tech organization responded by starting its own food pantry that will allow students to take a free bag of food twice a week.
Some Tech students say they’ve felt food insecurity while on campus.
“I was also trying to sneak food out of the SUB so I could have more in my dorm room,” said Montana Tech student Jaden Comings.
The student association’s plan to start a free pantry for students was supported by Chancellor Les Cook and his wife, Stephanie, and donations for local organization came pouring in.
“It’s actually very rare that a university doesn’t have a food support system, so when they found out that we didn’t, this was one of their main priorities,” said Sutton.
Many Montana Tech students say that during these difficult times it is tough to make ends meet and they say they really appreciate having the pantry to help them get through their busy day.
“I know all my friends, we always joke about how for dinners we always have like a cracker, just a saltine cracker for dinner, and we’re always making jokes how we don’t eat well and stuff like that. So it’s just another reason if you are eating saltine crackers for dinner, come to pantry and get yourself a bag of food,” said Comings.
Montana Tech is hosting an online fundraiser on its website to try to raise $15,000 for the food pantry.