Campus News

Combating Hunger on Campus


Food insecurity: The limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods. (provided by the USDA)

At least 6,000 Cal Poly students are estimated to be food insecure. Hungry students are far more likely to encounter academic problems and face a higher risk of dropping out. If you’re one of these students, Cal Poly is here to help. There are a number of on-campus programs to ensure you and all Cal Poly students have daily access to nutritious meals.


Cal Poly and 10 other CSU campuses are taking part in CalFresh, a federal program that provides monthly food benefits. Full and part-time students may be eligible for CalFresh if they meet the below criteria:

  • Work a minimum of 20 hours a week
  • Are approved for state or federal work-study
  • Have parental control over a dependent under the age of 6, or between 6-12 with no adequate childcare
  • Are a recipient of CalWORKs
  • Are enrolled in EOPS or WIOA activity

Students can begin the online application with help from trained CalFresh Outreach staff every Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Campus Health and Wellbeing Room in the Health Center (No. 27), room 173B. For more information, email or call (805) 399-0236.


Cal Poly Food Pantry

The Cal Poly Food Pantry is part of the Cal Poly Hunger Program which strives to ensure that all students have access to nutritious meals every day. This is a short-term service to assist students who are experiencing food insecurity due to a financial struggle. Any student is welcome to choose from a variety of donated packaged and canned foods, frozen meals, and personal hygiene products.

The Food Pantry is located in the lower level of the Health Center at the PULSE office and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo

The Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo works with a network of community partners to alleviate hunger throughout the county. For information on food distribution locations and monthly income requirements visit the Get Help tab on the website.

Cal Poly Cares Program

Cal Poly Cares provides support to students with critical and urgent needs in the following areas:

  • Housing and meals
  • Personal care items
  • Academic supplies and materials
  • Professional clothing
  • Emergency grants

Cal Poly Cares can award grants up to $2,000. Students can apply for a grant online on the Cal Poly Cares webpage. For more information, contact Joy Pedersen, Ph.D., Assistant Dean of Students at or (805) 756-6749.

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