Data from the 2016 UC Graduate Student Well-being Survey show that 23 percent of Berkeley graduate students lack consistent access to nutritious foods. If you find yourself needing assistance over the winter break (or at any time of year), some options for you are shown below. You can stay up-to-date on various organizations’ efforts to combat hunger, malnourishment, and homelessness by visiting the Basic Needs Security Website and subscribing to the newsletter.

UC Berkeley Food Pantry

The UC Berkeley Food Pantry is located in Room 68 in the MLK Student Union. Graduate and professional students can visit the pantry twice per month for core food support that is adaptable to a variety of dietary needs, with additional allowances for students with dependents. For more information and up-to-date hours, please see the Food Pantry website.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

food resourcesGraduate and professional students may be eligible for the Food Assistance Program, which helps students who have exhausted all other funding options to meet their short-term needs. Students awarded through this program may be required to submit additional information, attend a one-on-one financial counseling session to explore additional aid options, and/or develop a spending plan.

CalFresh Enrollment Clinics

Students may be eligible for CalFresh benefits, which provide food dollars each month to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and other healthy foods.

Benefits are distributed to a special EBT card that can be used like a debit card at many of the major chain grocery stores, including Costco and Trader Joe’s. The Berkeley Student Food Collective also takes EBT.

The Basic Needs Coalition hosts an enrollment clinic every Friday with an outreach specialist to assist students in the enrollment process. Sign up for a clinic here or apply directly.

University Health Services

What’s Eating You? is UHS’s nutrition section with tips for healthy eating habits, positive body image, and eating on a budget. UHS collaborates annually with the Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence to compile a winter break resource list, providing information on low-cost grocery options and eat-out meals, free meals in the community, and UC Berkeley Food Pantry and Cal Dining hours.


Categories: December 2016, Student Life
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