Winter break help for students in need

As winter break begins, a helpful list of tips, tricks and resources to help students eat healthfully and stick to their budgets is available from University Health Services and the Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence. The holidays can prove tough for students staying close to campus, as dining halls are closed from Dec. 21 – Jan. 14, and are a special challenge for students on their own and struggling financially.

The list includes low-cost grocery options, low-cost eat-out meals, the hours of the UC Berkeley Food Pantry and places to get free meals.

The UC Berkeley Food Pantry will close Dec. 21 but reopen already on Jan. 5. Check the pantry's website for exact hours. (UC Berkeley photo by Gretchen Kell)

The UC Berkeley Food Pantry will close Dec. 21 but reopen on Jan. 5. Check the pantry’s website for its exact hours. (UC Berkeley photo by Gretchen Kell)

Students who lack access to food in the short term have until this Friday, Dec. 18, to apply to the campus’ Food Assistance Program. Eligible undergraduates may qualify for meal points if they have exhausted other funding options, including student loans.

Another option for undergraduate and graduate students lacking funds is to apply by Friday, Dec. 18, at 2 p.m. for a 60-day, interest-free emergency loan from the Financial Aid Office. These loans are designed to help students meet unanticipated expenses directly related to the cost of education.

Through the efforts of campus staff members, more than $9,000 was raised by last Friday’s deadline through Human Resources’ Cal Nourish program to provide students in need with nearly 400 gift cards for food from local markets. Those cards will be allocated to about 300 students this week through the Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence.

Other helpful links for students facing obstacles this winter and year-round include: