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Food Resources

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CalFresh

CalFresh is a federally funded nutritional assistance program that provides eligible participants with up to $194 each month to spend on grocery items. CalFresh makes healthy eating more accessible, allowing students to stretch their food budgets and create more nutritious diets. 2 in 5 students are eligible, including part-time workers, EOP students, Cal Grant recipients, and students approved for Work Study – for a full list of eligibility criteria, click here to learn more about Calfresh.


Basic Needs Advocates

If you'd like help with the CalFresh application process, speak to a Basic Needs Advocate. These peer mentors are well versed with the program and can even advocate on your behalf in the case of denial. If you're not eligible for CalFresh, you're still urged to meet with an Advocate as they can help identify alternate food, housing, and financial resources. For your convenience, Advocates are stationed at various locations during different times of the week. Click here to view a full list of Basic Needs Advocates' hours and locations.


Food Pantries

Both on campus and within the local community, there are many options for students to access staple items, fresh produce, and other food resources essential to a healthy, nutritious diet. Between the A.S. Food Bank, Miramar Pantry, and the several locations spread throughout Isla Vista and beyond, students can locate a food pantry that best fits their needs and schedule. Most of these food pantries are available to any registered undergraduate or graduate student. Find locations and hours here.


Groceries

Finding groceries that are affordable and easily accessible can be hard to do when you're on a college budget. Luckily, places such as the Isla Vista Food Co-op offer high quality, affordable selections (and they accept CalFresh). Other resources, like the Grocery Rideshare Facebook Page and the Fresh EBT App can ease the process of getting ingredients for healthy cooking without breaking the bank. Read more about these resources here.


Prepared Meals

As college students, you may not always have the time nor resources to prepare meals for yourself. To address this, utilize any of the several places within the local community that offer free meals to students, including Cafe Picasso, Food Not Bombs, or the Swipe Out Hunger program. Alternatively, consider Residential Dining Services as an option for consistent access to prepared food. Find your options here.


Cooking & Nutrition

It's never too late to learn about food preparation, nutrition, grocery shopping, or budgeting. As college students, these basics serve as the foundation for securing a healthy, balanced diet. Through programs like Food, Nutrition, and Basic Skills (FNBS), students can gain such knowledge through hands-on workshops and demonstrations. Find out when the next event is here.


Gardening

The 14 Isla Vista and campus gardens and farms address food insecurity by repurposing underutilized spaces as areas for food production. These programs empower the community, especially students, to be leaders of our food system. The gardening experience not only builds a healthier lifestyle for the grower, but also serves as an entry way to socialize and develop connections with the land and output. Find your closest farm here.


Helpful Resources
Food Resource Map
Find out where campus resources, partners, and programs are located.

Advocate Office Hours
Speak with a peer advisor to learn about food, housing, and financial resources.

Newsletter Signup
Have basic needs resources, events, and news delivered straight to your inbox.

Resource Guides
Keep a list of resources on hand for referral.