LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - For many college students, getting to that degree without breaking the bank is a near impossible task.
Amber Goins is a student ambassador at SOWELA helping with the new Tiger Love Food Pantry. She says having her own experience as a single mother who has struggled, she thinks this food pantry will give those in need of help that little boost.
"Having this, I think those single mothers who struggle for food, that's one less thing they need to worry about,” Goins said. “They can go home and say you know what, I can fix my kids a decent meal."
Chancellor Neil Aspinwall says the number of students this may impact is more than meets the eye.
"Out of the nearly 4500 students that we serve, I would say maybe 10-15 percent of those have some type of food insecurity," Aspinwall said.
Christine Collins, Director of Student Support Services, says this little bit of help can go a long way. Inside there’s a variety of food like cereal, canned goods, and coffee. All it takes is a swipe of their student card to get them into the pantry.
"I always remind students that it's important to make sure that your family is taken care of, but we also want to make sure that our students are taken care of,” Collins said. “If our students aren't okay then they won't be okay for their families."
Goins says when it comes to needing assistance, students shouldn't be embarrassed.
"I know pride has a lot to do with public assistance and not wanting to go there but having this to fall back on,” Goins said. “To have this is a major asset for our students."
"We are put on this earth to be blessings to other people, if we can serve, this is what we are here for,” Collins said. “So if we can do our part to eliminate those barriers, that's what it's about at the end of the day."
Collins says Lake Charles will not be the only SOWELA location with the food pantry. It will also be available at their Morgan Smith-Jennings, and Oakdale campuses.
Donations can be brought to the Magnolia building on SOWELA’s main campus.