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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Bully’s Pantry expands campus presence with vending machine

Pantry
Ivy Rose Ball
Pantry

Bully’s Pantry is opening a free vending machine in the Colvard Student Union full of essentials to aid Mississippi State University students experiencing financial and food insecurity.
All students must do to use the vending machine is swipe their student ID. Located under the south staircase nearest to the Drill Field, it will be stocked with toiletries, hygiene products, ready-to-eat meals and school supplies.
The Division of Student Affairs, which oversees Bully’s Pantry, plans to have the vending machine operating by next week. Vice President of Student Affairs Regina Hyatt 
“We have been talking about having a vending machine for about a year,” Hyatt said. “The idea arose from another institution that had a vending machine to help with their food security efforts.”
Hyatt said that while the vending machine took time to be produced and delivered, she is grateful that the company loaned the machine to MSU at no charge.
According to Student Services Coordinator Lynn Smith, during the last month, approximately 250 students have used Bully’s Pantry. The Division of Student Affairs hopes to bring in more students by using the vending machine as a marketing tool.
“We put a giant Bully’s Pantry ad on the machine that directs students to our building at 120 Morgan Ave. We are hoping to increase the visibility of the pantry overall,” Hyatt said.
In the Bully’s Pantry building, students in need can use their student ID to receive free toiletries, nonperishable foods and school supplies.
Similar to the vending machine, Bully’s Pantry services a grab-and-go cabinet full of canned goods on its front porch. However, Hyatt said that the difference between the cabinet and the vending machine is the convenience of a centralized place on campus.
“If the vending machine is in a place that students can easily access it, maybe they’ll be more likely to take advantage of it,” Hyatt said.
Bully’s Pantry relies on volunteer work and food donations to keep it running.
“Many of the volunteers come from organizations like Day One Leadership or sororities,” sophomore industrial engineer and Bully’s Pantry student worker Sydney Simmons said. “We appreciate them a lot. They’re always so nice and down to earth.”
MSU Student Association president Ellie Herndon said SA frequently hosts food drives and helps build awareness for Bully’s Pantry.
“The Student Association is dedicated to serving the student body in all capacities, and one of those is helping combat food insecurity,” Herndon said. “Whether you are utilizing the Pantry and all that it offers, or a student who may be able to donate to the Pantry, the vending machine is a unique form of marketing for the Pantry. All in all, it shows how dedicated our administrators are to providing students with resources they need in every capacity.”
This week, the Student Association is partnering with The University of Southern Mississippi’s Student Government Association to collect donations for Bully’s Pantry and USM’s pantry, the Eagle’s Nest.
“Mississippi as a whole, along with many college campuses across the U.S., have students struggling with food insecurity, so this was a project that we wanted to work together to combat food insecurity on our campuses,” Herndon said.
The upcoming food drive is a competition between the two universities, serving as a precursor for the MSU and USM football game this Saturday. The Student Association’s goal is to collect 250 food items. Donation boxes for this initiative will be placed in all residence halls and Greek houses. Boxes will also be set up on the Drill Field all week.
The Student Association is also raising donations for this cause by hosting Bully’s Bash in Perry Cafeteria Nov. 16th. Students gain entry by donating to Bully’s Pantry.

About the Contributor
Kate Myers
Kate Myers, News Editor
Kate Myers is a freshman communication major. She currently serves as the News Editor. [email protected]
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Bully’s Pantry expands campus presence with vending machine