In 2010, the University of California (UC) Undergraduate Experience Survey found that one in every five UC Berkeley students reported to be at a level of food insecurity, or state of not having access to or sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious food. Luckily, UC Berkeley offers support for these students. These are 5 food resources at UC Berkeley to help fight food insecurity:
1. UC Berkeley Food Pantry
One of the biggest food resources at UC Berkeley is the Food Pantry, which is available to students who need solid food support. Items include nonperishable foods, such as canned soup, corn, tuna, pasta, brown rice, and apple juice. It is open Monday through Friday, generally from 10 am to 7pm (times vary).
2. Bear Pantry
The Bear Pantry, similar to the Food Pantry, provides non-perishable foods to low-income students who have dependent children. It also provides a free gift card to grocery markets so that students may buy dairy products, meat, and fresh produce.
3. Food Assistance Program
The Food Assistance Program offers financial aid for certain students who need food assistance and don't have other funds to support them. This program will offer extra meal points during the semester and during breaks. There is an application process, but if you believe yourself in need of aid, please give it a try.
4. Cal Fresh
In California, there is a program called Cal Fresh. If approved, you will receive a funded card that can be used just like a regular card at grocery markets. More information can be found here.
5. Low-Cost Groceries
While Berkeley has common grocery stores like Safeway and Trader Joe's, they can get a little pricey. Alternative places, like Berkeley Bowl and the Berkeley Student Food Collective, offer food of equal nutrition and variety for lower prices.
UC Berkeley offers a lot of ways to combat food insecurity, more of which you can find here. If you need support, please do not hesitate to check out some of these places and programs!