The annual “Reach In for Reach Out Lakota” food drive, hosted by the Lakota Board of Education, is the single largest source of donations all year long for the local food pantry.
“We are always amazed at the generosity of the Lakota School District for this event. The fact that the school board, staff, students and parents pull together to help their neighbors is a testament to the district leadership,” said Lourdes A. Ward, CEO of Reach Out Lakota.
“On behalf of the board, we'd like to thank and express our pride in our students, teachers, and administrators for their generous giving back to our community,” said Lynda O’Connor, president of Lakota’s Board of Education. “We also thank our volunteer judges for their assistance in determining the winner of the drive - it was a tough call to make this year.”
This year’s district-wide drive, which ended Oct. 28 at the East vs. West football game, filled two pod containers. According to Ward, “The first pod took two days to unload into the building and we are still trying to sort and put the contents into inventory. The delivery driver said it was the heaviest one he has delivered to us yet.”
Workers and volunteers at the non-profit are still trying to empty the second pod, which is estimated to be as heavy as the first one. Ward adds that the Lakota community contributions will stock Reach Out Lakota’s shelves throughout December, even through the busy late fall and winter months.
The organization serves about 2,200 clients during regular distribution hours three days a week, in addition to a large distribution of Thanksgiving meals. “Families are very grateful to receive such bountiful amounts in their food orders,” Ward adds.
The annual competition plays off the spirit of the East vs. West football game, pitting Lakota’s East side schools against the West side schools. The West side schools brought in the most donations and retained this year’s trophy.