The Food Pantry at UC Santa Cruz is located on campus and is run by the Student Union Assembly. Students show up and present their I.D. and are allowed up to ten points worth of food. Food is restocked each week and there are a myriad of options to choose from—pasta, potatoes, sushi, carrots, rice, soup, fresh fruit, and much more! The pantry is open to all UCSC students and provides a place for people to obtain free/inexpensive food.

1. Meet Other Volunteers

When you volunteer at the food pantry, you work with another volunteer. Together, you work with the other students and assist them to the best of your capability. You have the opportunity to meet the other volunteers you work with and form new connections. Everybody that works at the food pantry is extremely friendly and it never hurts to see a familiar face every now and then!


2. Meet Other Students

You also have the chance to meet and get to know the students who come into the food pantry. There are students who regularly come in and you get to know each individual personally. Even if you only spend a few, short minutes with each student, that interaction can still be a memorable one! Students at UC Santa Cruz are amicable and are always willing to have a down to earth conversation.


3. Become Familiar with OPERS

OPERS—Office of Physical Education, Recreation, and Sports—is where the food pantry is located on campus. OPERS provides a wide array of facilities and equipment that is open for students to use (i.e. Wellness Center, Tennis Courts, Pool, Indoor Court, etc.). While volunteering at the food pantry, you become familiar with the building and all its benefits and advantages. In addition to volunteering, you also become familiar with the different job opportunities that OPERS offers to its students. You could end up volunteering AND working!


4. Community Service 

Volunteering is community service. You are giving your free time to serve the community. The students are extremely grateful for the food pantry and all its volunteers because without it/them, finding free and inexpensive food would be very difficult. Especially with students that have financial strains, the food pantry provides a supportive and caring community that people can rely on.


5. Get Involved With the School

Becoming a volunteer with the SUA food pantry is one of many ways to become more engaged with the school. If you are looking for more activities to fill your time, join the food pantry! Show your enthusiasm and appreciation for UCSC through volunteering.


The food pantry is here to help students and without its volunteers, it would be unable to run. Join the pantry as a way to show your love and support to both the students and the school! In order to join this amazing team of people, you simply need to attend one hour of training; you learn about all the safety aspects you need to know while on the job and the basics of what you need to do. For more information about the food pantry at UCSC and other local food resources, check out this link on the UCSC website:

Sophie Bales

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