Food & Housing Security

Miramar Pantry

As UC Santa Barbara continues to expand programs and services to meet the basic needs of our students, we are pleased to share what we are doing to help in this effort. A primary focal point of our services is ensuring that all of our students are properly equipped for success.

Food Security

Sometimes it can be challenging to obtain nutritious food amidst the busy schedules and scarce resources many students have in college. Here are some ways students can supplement their nutritional needs allowing them to focus more fully on their academic endeavors.

  • Campus Dining’s award winning* Miramar Food Pantry is located in Sierra Madre Villages. Qualified students can find fresh produce, packaged foods, and more for free. The Pantry receives food for distribution from a variety of sources.
    • The Food Recovery Program utilizes food items that would otherwise be composted from Portola Dining Commons and saves these items to provide to the Miramar Pantry. By redirecting unspoiled food, we continue to be leaders in our community, supporting our students by addressing food insecurity and reducing our environmental impact.
    • Some of the to-go salads and sandwiches available at the pantry come from the Courtyard Café, the Coral Tree Café and Tenaya Market & Eatery. Through the FoodCycling program, food is picked up from these retail dining units and delivered to the Miramar Food Pantry and the Associated Students Food Bank. The Arbor, The Store at Buchanan, and The Corner Store also donate day-old pastries to the Associated Students Food Bank.

*In 2019 at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC), the Miramar Food Pantry received a Best Practice Award in the Sustainable Food Service Category.

  • The Arbor and Tenaya Market & Eatery accept CalFresh, federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a USDA program offering nutrition assistance to millions of eligible individuals and families. Enrollees receive EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards that can be used to pay for food and beverages. A major requirement for program participation is offering a wide selection of nutrient-dense foods. We are proud that students have convenient access to nutritious food to fuel their busy days on campus.
  • Campus Dining partners with the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships to offer free dining commons meal vouchers to students in immediate need, as well as meal plan scholarships over a longer period of time. The number of meals per week varies based on demonstrated student need. Campus Dining also supports the student-run Swipes for Us program, which collects 2,000 donated swipes for Dining Commons meals per quarter that are distributed to students by the Associated Students Food Bank the following quarter.
  • If you have ever wanted to learn more about cooking, smart shopping, or meal preparation, look no further than the Food Nutrition and Basic Skills (FNBS) program. Campus Dining partners with FNBS to provide workshops for students to learn or improve their skills while taking care of their bodies.

Housing Security

College students without a financial safety net are in a tough spot when unexpected costs arise. Through a collaboration between several departments across campus, students with financial hardships can receive help through the Housing Voucher program. The purpose of the program is to give students a safe and secure living environment, as well as improving their mental health and allowing them to focus on their academic goals.

To apply, a student submits an application to the Financial Crisis Response Team. Once awarded, the student will take their voucher to the University & Community Housing Services office and funds will be applied to their Campus Housing rent, or a check will be cut to pay a landlord or hotel.

Additionally, Campus Housing gives priority to students who are most vulnerable to housing insecurity: Unaccompanied Homeless Youth, Guardian Scholars, Promise Scholars, and Veterans. We also work to ensure that students who identify as transgender/non-binary are accommodated in comfortable living situations.

UC Santa Barbara has a number of resources available for students that you can find on the Basic Needs Resources website.