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Dining Co-op with SBSHC

New Option to Access Healthy and Affordable Prepared Meals! (Starting Summer Session B)

Are you looking for an affordable meal plan this summer? Would you like to learn useful cooking and meal planning skills? You’re in luck! UCSB and the Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative (SBSHC) are looking for 20 students to participate in a pilot program for a new Dining Cooperative (Co-op).  Members of the SBSHC Dining Co-op will work together to enjoy tasty and inexpensive meals throughout the summer! Students participating will get to choose the types of foods and recipes that they are most excited about making and eating.

This program is being launched in part due to the limited access to healthy and affordable foods for undocumented students. Given the fact that undocumented students are not able to access CalFresh and many federal benefits, food insecurity can be higher for the undocumented community.

What is a dining co-op? How will it work?

Any cooperative, or “co-op”, exists to meet the shared needs of its members. The SBSHC Dining Co-op will be run by students to meet their shared need for...well, to eat! All students who participate in this pilot program will become Dining Co-op members over the summer. They will work together to cook, clean, plan meals, make decisions, and learn new skills. Members will learn about cooperative self-governance and get to decide how the co-op operates. This includes getting to choose what foods are purchased and how work is divided. Members will each be responsible for individual duties, such as helping to cook or clean 2 times a week, and during the rest of the week all they have to do is eat!

Do I have to know how to cook?

No prior cooking experience is required, but you must be open to learning! Members will cook together in teams. If you don’t yet feel comfortable in the kitchen, we can pair you up with others who enjoy cooking and can help you learn. All Dining Co-op members will receive hands-on cooking lessons and other educational workshops to grow their cooking skills.

Where and how often will meals be served?

The Dining Co-op will be located downstairs at 777 Camino Pescadero, which is also home to SBSHC’s Merton housing cooperative and the SBSHC office. Dining Co-op members will be able to use the downstairs kitchen and auditorium space to hold meetings, prepare meals, and dine together. Lunch and dinner will be prepared Monday through Friday each week. Members may also decide if they want to add breakfasts, grab-and-go snacks, or other tasty treats to the co-op’s program.

What if I can’t make it to every meal?

We’ve got you covered! Request a “late plate” and cook teams will set aside your meal for you to enjoy later.

When does the program start and end?

This pilot program will run throughout Summer Session B, from August 6th through September 14th. Students who become members of the Dining Co-op are required to participate every week of the program throughout its entirety.

How much does it cost to participate?

The SBSHC Dining Co-op is run not-for-profit. Students participating in the initial pilot and who have financial need will only pay $100. Membership would normally cost $225 total and covers all food, kitchen supplies, and other operating expenses. For each student participating in this initial pilot program, a $125 subsidy is being generously offered through UCSB’s Food Security Taskforce.

Is there anything else I should know?

In addition to preparing and cleaning up after meals, Dining Co-op members will be required to attend decision-making meetings and educational workshops. These will occur 2-3 times per month, with some additional orientation meetings during the first week of the program.

How do I apply to be a Dining Co-op member?

Please fill out this quick survey to let us know that you are interested: https://tinyurl.com/diningcoopYou will be notified if you are accepted within a week of applying. If you have any questions, please contact Noah at dining@sbcoop.org.