Purpose of UCSC Basic Needs Website

CASFS Field Site interns and student staff participating in a farm to food security harvest.

Whether you’re a new student or returning banana slug, the UCSC Food Access & Basic Needs Team is here to support your basic needs and wellness. College can be a challenging time; access to affordable and healthy food, stable housing, and comprehensive mental health resources should not be an additional stressor. This website serves as an online hub for information on food, housing, health & wellness, and financial security resources, both on-campus at UCSC and off-campus in the greater Santa Cruz community.

In addition to providing resource information and immediate crisis support, we seek to connect students with ways to get involved through internship and volunteer opportunities with campus and community organizations. Thank you for visiting - we seek to continually update this site based on your feedback and recommendations.

This website is focused on student-centered resources. If you are a UCSC staff or faculty member looking for resources and support, please visit the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) website.

What is Basic Needs Security?

Basic Needs Security refers to access to resources one needs in order to thrive, including but not limited to food, housing, financial security and overall wellness. 

(Lorrene Ritchie, "Student Food Insecurity: What Do We Know?" UC Agricultural and Natural Resources) Food Security Conceptual Model

(Lorrene Ritchie, "Student Food Insecurity: What Do We Know?" UC Agricultural and Natural Resources)

Though our UCSC Food Access & Basic Needs Working Group began with a food security focus, we recognized that the conversation needed to shift toward a comprehensive basic needs framework; these systemic issues require solutions targeting the root of the problem. With this in mind, we envision a future where hunger is not a normalized part of the college experience and where food pantries are no longer necessary. While we work toward this vision, we hope to alleviate some of the immediate burden through strong emergency relief and crisis intervention services, as well as peer-led programs to spread awareness of rights and resources.