This project has ended, but you can still support amazing Berkeley initiatives by visiting give.berkeley.edu. Your continued support of our students, faculty and staff will ensure that Berkeley remains the #1 public university. Go Bears!
The UC Berkeley Food Pantry is a direct response to the need among the student population for more resources to fight food insecurity—the lack of nutritious food. With rising fees, textbook costs, and living expenses, it has become increasingly difficult for students to juggle the costs of living with the costs of obtaining a university degree, and thus many students are finding themselves choosing between essentials such as food and the costs of college. The UC Berkeley Food Pantry was established to provide emergency relief to help students continue on to successfully complete and obtain their degrees from the University of California. It is a part of the campus-wide food security efforts.
Since 2010, one in five Cal students have self-reported having to “skip meals in order to save money” in the UC Undergraduate Experience Survey (UCUES). As data was released about the prevalence across various degrees of food and nutrition insecurity, our campus community has been proactive about building a comprehensive institutional food security model. By the Spring of 2014, UC Berkeley established the first-of-its-kind institutional Food Security Committee, with leadership representation across students, professional staff, faculty, and executive administrators.
The UC Berkeley Food Pantry serves as the model’s holistic emergency support service. All current undergraduate and graduate students with emergency food needs are welcomed and encouraged to utilize our food pantry. Since the opening of the food pantry in the Spring of 2014, the pantry has exceeded 2,500 visits. The pantry operates through an equitable service model that provides five multi-meal food items that provide supplemental nutrition support for eight to ten days. Students are welcomed to utilize the pantry twice a month. Our model adjusts to the needs of each student, which includes supporting the dependents of our students and need-based usage beyond the two visits per month. Despite the short time our UC Berkeley Food Pantry has been in operation, it is already recognized as a national model that institutions are actively seeking to replicate.
We believe that upon admission and enrollment into UC Berkeley, it is our duty to ensure that each student has the support they need in order to thrive at and beyond Cal. In order for students to succeed, they must have their basic needs met. Our food access and security work allows us to provide foundation of holistic support services that students need in order to thrive personally, in turn, they will be able to perform to their best of their abilities academically. As students thrive personally, perform their best academically, we believe they will then go on to be the shapers and leaders of our world.
Your contribution will help us fight hunger on campus.
The Food Pantry Team