Regina Hyatt, Mississippi State University Vice President for Student Affairs, cut the ribbon that marked the official opening of Bully’s Closet and Pantry this past Friday at 120 Morgan Avenue. Bully’s Closet and Pantry is a food and clothing pantry for MSU students who encounter financial hardships, whatever the circumstances behind them may be.
The ceremony’s opening speech was given by Hyatt in which she discussed the creation process of the pantry and thanked the many donors who gave financially, as well as those who collected food items to help stock the pantry for its opening and the weeks to come.
“What started out as an idea for a professional clothing closet for students, due to the leadership of Maya Emerson, who is here today, and the Student Association and Student Body President Jake Manning, who has carried on this goal, has blossomed into this wonderful new resource for our students,” Hyatt said.
Hyatt spoke highly of those who worked under and alongside her throughout the Pantry’s design process.
“To everyone who has given of their time and energy to make Bully’s Closet and Pantry come to life—thank you,” Hyatt said shortly before cutting the ribbon.
Hyatt specifically commended Montelleo Hobley, who worked under her and did a great deal of the planning for the Pantry and setting up for the grand opening. Hobley is a coordinator for the Division of Student Affairs on campus.
Hobley said the opening of this project felt like a sigh of relief after all of the hard work everybody put into it.
“I think the biggest thing to remember is that everybody struggles with something, whether they tell you that they are or not,” Hobley said. “So, we want to have resources to help people be successful either way.”
University President Mark Keenum also spoke at the opening about the importance of this to students, especially those who have financial need and use most of their finances for school, letting things like food or professional clothes fall behind in importance.
“When we think about people who have a need of food, we tend to think about people in far-off distant lands, but we have people in need right here in our own community,” Keenum said. “Yes, right here on our campus here at Mississippi State.”
The Pantry is run mainly by student workers. One of the workers, Maddie Blundon, is a second-year graduate student in the Educational Leadership program. Blundon reached out to Hobley after hearing about his involvement with the Pantry.
“There is nothing to be ashamed of when coming to use this resource,” Blundon said. “It’s here, we are here to help. We want people to use this resource as much as possible.”
The pantry will be open and available to students on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 1-6 p.m. It can be found at 120 Morgan Ave. close to the old intramural fields behind the Fresh Foods Company.