Food Security for Students Program

The economic burdens of professional and graduate education are significant for all students, and there may be times when it is difficult for students to access a sufficient quantity of nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.


As a participant in the University of California Global Food Initiative, UC San Francisco has established the Food Security for Students (FSFS) Program to develop and implement services and resources that address UCSF student nutrition and food insecurity. The FSFS program is supported by a campus allocation from UC President Janet Napolitano.

Food Security – Emergency Relief

Any registered UCSF student who is unable to afford sufficient, nutritious food may request a Food Security - Emergency Relief packet. The packet contains a grocery store gift card and a gift card that can be used at any of the UCSF campus food vendors. These packets are intended to provide urgent, short-term, emergency food assistance.

Students who are experiencing long-term food insecurity are encouraged to contact the UCSF Student Financial Aid office.

Please note that only currently registered UCSF students are eligible to receive the Food Security – Emergency Relief packets. Residents, postdocs, interns, faculty, staff, etc. are not eligible for the program.

Because resources for this program are limited, it is not a viable solution for students who face ongoing food access issues. Student Financial Aid personnel will reach out to students who request multiple Emergency Relief packets to provide resources, financial advice, and to discuss other, more sustainable options for support.

How to Apply for an Emergency Relief Packet

To get an Emergency Relief packet, please complete this brief online form. The online form may be completed in advance or when picking up your packet. Packets are available for pick up at the following locations:

Parnassus Campus Mission Bay Campus

Office of the Registrar
Millberry Union West, Rm 200
Office hours: Monday – Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Student Services Office
Mission Hall, Rm 1300
Office hours: Monday – Friday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

CalFresh Program (government funded food assistance program)

Some students are eligible to receive up to $194 per month through the CalFresh Program, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at the federal level. The program issues monthly electronic benefits that can be used to buy most foods at many markets and food stores. Applying for the program is easy and takes only about 10 minutes at GetCalFresh.org. If you have questions regarding eligibility or assistance with Federal Work Study verification documents, please contact us.

See information on additional resources, and watch this page for more resources and updates in 2017.