Every day, economically vulnerable students at Cal are going hungry. It is no secret that living in the Bay Area comes at a great cost. No one knows this better than the student body of UC Berkeley. With skyrocketing rent prices on top of tuition, the cost of living in Berkeley puts students in tough financial positions, forcing them to sacrifice basic needs. According to a UC Undergraduate Experience Survey, one in five Berkeley students have skipped meals to save money, and 39% of Undergraduates and 23% of Graduate Students are food insecure. In an effort to provide all students with access to a meal, a committee of students, faculty, and staff came together to address the growing concerns of food insecurity. In the summer of 2014, the UC Berkeley Food Security Committee launched the UC Berkeley Food Pantry.
Since the Food Pantry has opened their doors, they have provided over 200 students with access to emergency food support. The pantry tries to stay stocked with healthy and organic food options, ensuring that students in need do not only receive a free meal but a nutritious one as well. The impact the program has had on students is evident from the anonymous testimonials left on their website. Here are a few examples:
“I am a first generation, low-income student. I also work part-time to full-time to stay in school and meet my monthly expenses.”
“I support three different people, one disabled and the other one previously homeless, on my only income while I’m a student. This helps a ton.”
“As I am now low on meal points and without any work study, I am thankful for this kind of space. I feel supported by the university, especially since this is a space where few questions are asked about your situation, and I do not feel stigmatized coming here.”
“It has been a tremendous support for me and my family. Having sometimes to deal with lack of food distracts me from studying. Thanks to the food pantry for your continuous support!”
In order to continue their mission, the Food Pantry relies heavily on YOUR support. To help grow the food pantry and expand its reach, please consider supporting the great work of the UC Berkeley Food Pantry and feed students in need today. Gifts can be made to UC Berkeley Food Pantry Fund.
For more information on the food pantry and the positive impact it is making in the community, please visit The UC Food Pantry Website.