By Kassidy Curryfirstname.lastname@example.org
Students Against Hunger and Homelessness (SAHH) fought a long battle to get itself a new food pantry. On Apr. 3, the club finally got to celebrate the grand opening of their new space located on the first floor of the Helland Center.
Members and friends of SAHH gathered to not only celebrate their food pantry and their group’s work, but also to remember a founding member, Amy Bartholomew, who recently passed away.
“I was about to give up hope.” said Brady O’Neel, the SAHH vice president of operation, during his testimony to the crowd. “But all of a sudden Amy Bartholomew told me she was gonna come pick me up and give me a place to stay that night.”
Amy Bartholomew was celebrated through the words of the speakers and the attendees throughout the service. Her sons attended the ceremony and cut the ribbon to the new food pantry, which displays a plaque of her at the opening of the counter.
“We all hope to leave a legacy, to touch someone else’s life,” said speaker Felicia Hamilton. “And Amy, she did that. She touched the lives of everyone in this room, one way or another. All she had to do was smile.”
During the ceremony, Interim President Avelino Mills-Novoa commended MCTC student commitment.
“The mission of MCTC is to provide privilege to individuals who haven’t had privilege in the past,” said Mills-Novoa. “And that’s the work that this institution is committed to.”
The ceremony also included words from Reverend Lowell Johnson of St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral.
“I believe with your new food depot – you’re providing food – but it’s also hope,” said Johnson. “I think each is equally important.”
Members of SAHH shared words on the history of the group as well as the hardships of living without food or shelter.
The ceremony was finished with a proclamation by Patrick Troup, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, and a final ribbon cutting to officially open the new pantry. The food pantry will be open from 12 to 2 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays in H1208.
“I wanted to be the sort of student that made changes on campus – that advocated for other students,” said Hamilton. “They lit a fire inside of me.”
SAHH originally was operating from the food depot on the second floor of the T building, it was “students helping students,” said member Aisha Mohamed. But they were eventually moved out of that space and didn’t have anywhere else to run their organization. This new space provides them the opportunity to once more to help students directly and add to the community of MCTC.
“This has been a great journey SAHH has taken us on,” said Hamilton.