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UC Global Food Initiative Internship Positions posted by UCSB Sustainability, Please visit this page the UCSB Sustainability Internship Page.

Calfresh Advocate and Basic Needs Peer Advisor

The role of the Calfresh Advocate and Basic Needs Peer Advisor is to assist UCSB students with the CalFresh application process so students can receive monthly food benefits (up to $204 per month), and connect students to the broad variety of basic needs resources that UCSB and the local community have to offer including those focused on food financial, and housing security, as well as other resources to support students overall mental and physical wellbeing. This will include making regular referrals to CalFresh, campus food pantries, Educational Opportunity Program, Financial Crisis Response Team, other emergency grant programs, Financial Aid, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the Health and Wellness program, campus academic advising offices, etc), as well as off-campus resources. Selected interns will meet with students in crisis, provide empathy, be good listeners, help the clients identify the resources that best meet their needs, and help the clients access those resources.  Selected interns will also provide support to our Food Security and Basic Needs Advising Center (nicknamed the “SNAC”) at the University Center and El Centro Basic Needs Advising Center.  This could include providing general front desk support, answering phones and general inquiries.  It also includes distribution of various basic needs resources which could include, but is not limited to hygiene products, technology (laptops, wifi devices, etc), snacks, masks, etc. Learn more at https://food.ucsb.edu/resources/basic-needs-advocates

Pay Rate: $14 per hourly (will increase to $15 by January 1, 2022)

Hours per week: 10-12hrs/wk, including some days, nights, and weekends.  Students will have regular on-site shifts at our advising center, El Centro, or tabling; and will also be asked to attend presentations, enrollment parties, and other outreach activities as needed.  The schedule of presentations and enrollment parties will be based on partner schedules and will shift from week to week.  These will be scheduled around student interns classes and other responsibilities. We give time off for finals as needed, but often cannot give time off during midterms.

This position will be required to work in person and most tasks and meetings will be in person.  We may have some work meetings virtually and we will still offer zoom appointments for online support through Shoreline and our online chat system for clients.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Assist UCSB students with Calfresh Applications. We may also start pre-screening for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) next year.
  • Pre-screen potential applicants and assist with the entire application process
  • Follow up with applicants and referrals through case-follow up procedure
  • Work collaboratively and professionally with staff at the SB County Department of Social Services Benefit Service Center to follow up when student CalFresh applicants have issues with their CalFresh application.
  • Help expand CalFresh eligibility for UCSB students.This could include developing proposals for the California State Department of Social Services to have more campus programs be eligible for CalFresh.This could also include working with campus departments to develop better backup documentation to support student applications for CalFresh.
  • Document interactions and follow-up for metrics tracking, reporting, and to allow for consistent follow-up with our clients.
  • Understand terms and regulations pertaining to the CalFresh Program and other services we offer referrals to/support for applying to.
  • Attend meetings with other CalFresh service providers in SB County and at other UC campuses to identify and implement opportunities to collaborate in the effort to expand CalFresh for college students.
  • Meet with students in crisis to provide empathy, be good listeners, help the clients identify the resources that best meet their needs, and help the clients access those resources.
  • Attend and sometimes lead outreach events, including enrollment parties. Prepare materials as necessary.
  • Present on basic needs to groups of staff, faculty, and/or students.
  • Offer quick class announcements at the beginning of classes.
  • Participate on one-on-one zoom calls with clients with your camera on to assist them with CalFresh applications and/or provide basic needs advising.This can be done at one of our onsite locations where we can provide a quiet space and the technical/equipment support for this if you can’t have your camera on at home.
  • Attend team meetings and trainings.
  • Track outreach activities including outcomes and barriers and report in a timely manner.
  • Develop outreach and marketing materials for CalFresh and other basic needs services.
  • Represent the basic needs program in the community as needed.
  • Implement all duties in accordance with CDC, Santa Barbara County Public Health, and campus safety procedures. Student workers will be required to take weekly COVID tasks, have regular flu shots, wear a mask while working, maintain a 6ft distance to others while working, complete a daily COVID wellness screening, and take the COVID return to campus training.It is likely that students will also be required to have a COVID vaccine in order to work on campus starting in the Fall.The COVID vaccine requirement is pending final policy approval.

Skills, education and experience

  • Work study is required (DACA students are exempt from this requirement)
  • Commitment to serving students impacted by food and housing security issues.
  • Excitement for promoting the CalFresh program and other campus and off-campus basic needs services.
  • Passion for ensuring all students have equitable access to healthy and sustainable foods.
  • Commitment to treating others like they would like to be treated and recognizing that what works for you might not work for the clients you are working with.Each person has their own unique needs and boundaries.
  • High level of personal initiative and ability to work independently and as a high player
  • Public speaking and presentation skills
  • Strong organization, written and oral communication skills.
  • Sensitivity to the basic needs, issues, and concerns of marginalized communities including students of color andstudents of diverse sexual orientations, genders, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, and abilities.
  • Commitment to using inclusive language.
  • Able and willing to comply with all mandates of regulations pertaining to Calfresh enrollment
  • This position is a mandatory reporting position and so must make reports to the campus if a student is a risk to themselves or others.
  • Must be able to maintain strict confidentiality regarding client information.
  • Must maintain positive, collaborative, respectful, and professional working relationships with other UCSB campus departments and local service providers.
  • Must be comfortable working regularly with student clients who are experiencing challenging life situations related to food, housing, and financial security, mental health crises, or other distress.This will require student interns to have good self-care practices and to be emotionally prepared to work with other students experiencing crisis.
  • Must be able to work onsite Summer 2021 through June 2022 and not studying abroad
  • Must be an enrolled UCSB student Fall 2021 through Spring 2022


If you are eligible for work-study, please note this in the cover letter. Work-study is required for this position.

Please email your resume, a cover letter describing your interest in the position, and your Summer class schedule to Katie at internshipsucsbsustainability@gmail.com by May 28th. 

UCSB Career Services offers support and advising in writing résumés and cover letters. Please consider taking advantage of their generous services, especially if this is the first time you have written a résumé and/or cover letter.