Basic Needs Security

Basic Needs Security (BNS) refers to the food, housing, and financial security of our community. We understand that basic needs have a direct impact on the mental-emotional-physical health, wellness, academic performance, professional development, and holistic success of our students, as well as on the mental-emotional-physical health and wellness of our staff and faculty. Within the Food Security sphere of BNS, UC Berkeley offers the following resources to students and members of the campus community:

  • CalFresh Clinics
  • Food Assistance Program
  • UC Berkeley Food Pantry
  • Gardening and Farming Skills
  • Nutritional Science and Toxicology Food Security Courses
  • University Health Services
  • USDA Eat Fresh

Learn more about Basic Needs Security at the University of California:

For more information on these resources, visit the BNS webpage here.

Staff Basic Needs Working Group

Founded in fall 2018, the Staff Basic Needs Working Group provides food, housing, and economic resources for UC Berkeley’s staff, postdocs, and visiting researchers. We work to make the Basic Needs Center programming accessible to all employees, and provide targeted outreach and services for Berkeley’s most vulnerable staff populations. We also research, innovate, advocate, and engage in coalition building to lead systemic changes to improve the basic needs security of the University’s employees.

During the first year, the Working Group focused on coalition building and learning, to understand the scope and nuances of staff food, housing, and economic insecurity among various employee populations, and raise this important issue with relevant UC Berkeley leadership. Simultaneously, we performed extensive outreach, particularly on food security resources, through the creation and distribution of trilingual outreach materials and holding multiple staff-specific food security events. As a result of our efforts, staff visits to the UC Berkeley Food Pantry increased from 6 visitors total as of fall 2018 to 250 unique visitors averaging ~550 visits per month as of summer 2019.

In 2019-20 we are continuing to expand our food security efforts and beginning to address the complexities of housing insecurity.

The Working Group is composed of volunteers from the Basic Needs Center, Berkeley Food Institute, Employee Assistance Program, Be Well at Work, Human Resources, Chancellor’s Staff Advisory Committee, Visiting Scholars and Postdoc Affairs Program, Residential Student Services Program, and Facilities Services.

To get involved, contact Rosalie Z. Fanshel, Program Manager, Berkeley Food Institute, at