According to Feeding America, food insecurity is “a federal measure of a household’s ability to provide enough food for every person in the household to have an active, healthy life.” Food insecurity is such a big issue for students because it can affect your test scores, concentration, energy, academic standing, and lowers your chances of graduating. In addition, food insecurity affects the most vulnerable students ex. students who receive financial aid, students who are parents/ caretakers, students with disabilities, LGBTQ+ students, first-generation students, BIPOC, and more.
Unfortunately, students who are facing food insecurity are not accessing all the public benefits they could. The food insecurity among college students can get worse because families are losing income, medical bills are piling up, and folks are being forced to tap-in to their savings. However there are college, local, state and federal resources for you as a student.
Below is a list of food banks/ pantries that are accessible to you and your family at no cost, because no student should go upon not knowing when their next meal will be.
Free or reduced-cost services like medical care, food, job training and more can be found around your area! Food or reduced-cost services are services that are free or are at a reduced cost for people with low-income. These services are also available for people with undocumented status.
- Aunt Bertha is one of the largest and most used online social care networks for individuals looking to connect to Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) in the United States. To get started, input your zip code and Aunt Bertha will connect you with CBO’s near you. Financial assistance, food pantries, medical care, and other free or reduced-cost help starts here!
- The Employment Development Department (EDD) of the State of California provides to keep employers, employees, and job seekers competitive. This website provides additional resources that may help you.
- In many parts of California, you can call 2-1-1 to learn about resources in your community or contact these agencies and organizations directly to ask about their programs. Some programs may have eligibility requirements.
Reduced cost or free internet access:
- The Affordable Connectivity Program is administered by USAC with oversight from the Federal Communications Commission. With the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, you can save on your bill and may be able to get high-speed internet for free.
- Spectrum Student Internet Packages offers high-speed internet for students and enough bandwidth to support multiple devices.
Information on low-cost computers:
Northern California: in English and Spanish
Southern California: in English and Spanish
Databases that include services for undocumented communities:
Everyone says that starting college is a very exciting part of your life but no one really talks about the stress that comes with preparing for college. There are things you need to figure out such as: will you be living on campus or with family? How will you get to and from school? When thinking of commuting you need to take in consideration a checklist that would make your commuting experience more enjoyable. Here are some tips to make your commute easier:
Whether you are commuting by public transportation or by your own vehicle, one of the most important things is staying safe. Sometimes you may stay in school very late and by the time you head home it is dark or you may need to leave home very early in the morning. No matter the time, here are some tips on staying safe:
Pepper spray, taser and emergency car kit are all helpful tools that can be used during an emergency. Read the instructions on how to properly use these tools and only use them for emergencies.
Android and Apple have an emergency mode on smartphones to help during difficult situations. Depending on the company, these programs allow you to add emergency contacts, call emergency services and put your phone on ultra power saving mode.
More information for apple users, samsung, and android users.
Sometimes you are running late and forget to make yourself breakfast or maybe you did not pack lunch. One way to avoid this is by meal planning! There are many ways to meal plan, it is done according to your lifestyle. If you have never meal planned before, here is a some tips for beginners:
When meal planning, it is important to save on produce! Here are some guides to CalFresh, SNAP, and food banks that may be available near you.
Have a long commute? One of the discouraging things about having a long commute is knowing how to fill in the time.
Student discounts for Apple Music and Spotify
If you have an exam that day, you can review your notes or study guides on the way to school. This is helpful because you are briefly reviewing your notes before your exam to make sure you don’t forget some last minute details.
Discounted Bus Passes for Students
If you will be taking public transportation to get to and from school, you will need a bus pass. The cost for a bus pass can accumulate but luckily there are programs that offer discounts for students! Additionally, these offers have unlimited rides for your semester/quarter.**
- Orange County and Irvine Students
- Bay Area Students
- Clipper Card
- Will be able to use on Caltrain Golden Gate Transit, Marin Transit, Muni, SamTrans, etc… Check the FAQ for more information
- Must have an income level below $89,320
*keep in mind some places do not allow pepper spray, tasers or anything sharp inside their perimeters
**rules may vary, visit websites for more information
By: Let’s Go
The holiday season is upon us! While this can be a time of celebration with family and friends, this can also be a stressful time for college students and their families. A lot of money and time goes into these celebrations that not everyone has the means for. In addition, for vulnerable students like low-income, houseless, and queer students this can be a time of stress and uncertainty.
However, in times like these, we can depend on community and mutual aid because we have each other’s back. Below we have listed different resources college students and their families can hopefully benefit from.
Food Banks: Offers free food such as non-perishables, fruits, and vegetables.
Find a Food Bank
California Food Banks
Shelters: If you are seeking emergency shelter or a safe place to stay during the holiday/ winter season, here is CA’s shelter directory:
Emergency and Homeless Shelters – United Way 211
California Homeless Shelters – California
COVENANT HOUSE CALIFORNIA – Serving homeless youth in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay area
Queer Resources: For some queer students, college is the perfect escape to find and embrace who they are without the fear of rejection. This can sometimes make going back home difficult. Below are LGBTQ resources like CSU centers, self-care guide, and county and statewide resources you can access.
LGBTQIA Centers | CSU
Holiday Gifts- Have a young child in your life? Here are some centers and organizations that host toy drives:
Get FREE Christmas Gifts & Food In California!
Free Christmas and holiday assistance Los Angeles County