There are many student-led groups on campus working on food issues—from food security to food innovation, growing your own food to reducing waste of food. Scroll down for a list of student groups across campus, and find the one that’s right for you!
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Bear Pantry at Berkeley
The Bear Pantry serves low-income UC Berkeley students with dependent children. These families live in family housing in the UC Village, at Smythe-Fernwall and off campus. These families may be headed by a single parent, a couple, by undergraduates or graduate students. The only requirements for access to the resources of the Bear Pantry are that they have minor children living in their home and that they be receiving tuition assistance through the Financial Aid Office at UC Berkeley.
Students with children are particularly vulnerable to interruptions or delays in funding, and temporary shortages of food in the home, which might be manageable if difficult for an independent student, can be an emergency for students with children to be fed. Situations such as this can force a student parent, after overcoming the challenges of being admitted to UC Berkeley, to consider abandoning their educational goals for the security of their children. The Bear Pantry was founded on the belief that this is a choice no parent should have to make.
For more information, see the Bear Pantry website.
Berkeley Student Food Collective
The Berkeley Student Food Collective (BSFC) is dedicated to providing fresh, local, healthy, environmentally sustainable and ethically produced food at affordable prices to the Berkeley campus and greater community. We seek to educate students about nutrition and food systems, empower new leaders, and train youth to work in and manage a sustainable business. Through inclusive, democratic decision-making, we operate a cooperative grocery market that promotes community-building and environmental stewardship. Become a member-owner and get 10% off all purchases.
For more information, see the BSFC website.
Operations Manager: Jeff Noven
Berkeley Organization for Animal Advocacy
Cellular Agriculture Academic Society
Cellular Agriculture Academic Society (CAAS) focuses on the emerging technology of cellular agriculture, which involves creating materials from cell cultures. Our main focus is on creating animal products (meat, leather, silk, etc.) from cell cultures.
For more information, see the CAAS website.
Student Leaders: Saam Shahrokhi
CityFood is a working group based in the Department of City and Regional Planning that brings together UC-Berkeley students, faculty and staff from across disciplines who are commonly interested in urban food systems. CityFood provides a collaborative forum to: 1) share ideas, experiences, and opportunities; 2) workshop research; and 3) convene guest speakers from community organizations, non-profits, and public agencies to discuss food system revitalization in the Bay Area, nationally, and overseas.
Student Leaders: Paige Roosa and Sara Draper-Zivetz
FEED (Food, Equity, Entrepreneurship & Development) is a club that consults for local startups that share our vision of a socially responsible food system. We envision a world where food is not wasted; where what we grow and eat comes from equitably treated workers; where agricultural practices regenerate the land; and most importantly, where everyone has equal access to fresh, whole, nutritious foods. Our mission is to turn this vision into reality with business, because it has the power to enact real social change. We plan to accomplish our mission by consulting for local start-ups that share our vision, and in doing so, improve their business.
Food@Haas is the hub for Haas MBA students and partners interested in food. We bring the Haas community closer together through food-related programming, and we provide resources for people with a professional interest in food.
For more information, see the Food@Haas website.
Adrian Rodrigues: email@example.com
Amanda Parker: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our mission at FoodInno is to build a collaborative environment of food innovators from all walks of life. We provide the opportunity for students to work alongside food companies to solve their challenges by tapping into the minds of young millennials. Our club has two branches: food innovation hackathons and student-led classes. Through food hackathons, FoodInno provides UC Berkeley students with the opportunity to closely work with local food companies, co-ops, and organizations. These events bring young millennials and innovative food businesses together to creatively solve company challenges, such as optimizing healthy consumer-packaged snack products, increasing health marketing campaigns, or innovating new product designs. In addition, our club provides students with food-related education opportunities, through our UC Berkeley classes. These courses provide a platform for our club members to explore and teach topics that interest them, bring in local entrepreneurs, food system innovators, and experts to talk about their passions, and expand the knowledge of Berkeley students on the wonderful world of food. In the past we’ve taught classes on the environmental, nutritional, and social aspects of our food system and coffee & wine. Currently, we are teaching a class on fermentation and its nutritional benefits & cultural impact.
For more information, see the FoodInno website.
Student Leaders: Cindy Ma, Vicky Jing, Agnes Zhu, and Hailey Zhou
Food and Agriculture Policy Group
The Food & Agriculture Policy Group is a student group founded at the Goldman School of Public Policy and open to students from across the Berkeley campus. The group seeks to explore how policy can achieve equity, justice, and economic and environmental sustainability within food and agriculture systems. By providing resources, convening conversations, and facilitating collaboration within the UC Berkeley community and beyond, the Food & Agriculture Policy Group examines the intersections of issues such as food justice and equity, the environmental impacts of food systems, the role of food and agriculture subsidies, access to and affordability of nutritious food, and the impact of climate change on food systems.
Contact: Beth Spitler, email@example.com
Food Science and Tech at Cal
Gill Tract Farm Students Coalition
The Gill Tract Farm Students Coalition is a student group that formed in spring 2017 to build strength and connection between the UC Gill Tract Community Farm in Albany and the UC Berkeley student community. Within the student group, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved including project-based work, engagement in Working Groups, and leadership growth.
Meetings are Wednesdays at 5:00 PM. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information including room location.
For more information, see the UC Gill Tract Community Farm Facebook page.
GradFood (formerly SNAPP) is an interdisciplinary association of graduate students working across sectors to share their work and ideas regarding all things food and agriculture. GradFood brings UC Berkeley graduate students from diverse disciplines together to learn and teach about something that affects everyone: FOOD! Food is more than meets the eye, and we delve into issues that make food both an intellectually stimulating field and central to our daily lives. Our monthly dinners are a forum to discuss food and agriculture issues from a variety of perspectives, and topics include everything from health to agroecology to economic development (and beyond!). The group provides opportunities to meet students from other departments, collaborate on and present research, and network with the sustainable food systems community and the new Berkeley Food Institute. We emphasize education that can inform both public policy and grassroots food systems change. Join us at the table!
For more information, see the GradFood Facebook page.
Student Leaders: Olga Ballard, Mikaela Burns, Maria Vanegas, Peiley Lau, Chrissy Badaracco, Marisa Westbrook, Maggie Rasnake, and Kate Hagen
Spoon University at Berkeley
Student Nutrition Advocacy Club (SNAC)
Student Organic Garden Association (SOGA)
The Student Organic Garden, UC Berkeley’s student farm, was created by students in 1971. In 1999 the Student Organic Garden Association (SOGA) was formed to establish continuity of maintenance and support for the Student Organic Garden year round in order to provide a creative space for experiential agricultural education for the UC Berkeley student community and greater surrounding community. The garden is used by the ESPM department to teach Urban Agriculture and Food Justice class during fall and then transitions to a DeCal;Introduction to Organic Gardening class hosted by SOGA in the spring.
Swipe Out Hunger
Swipe Out Hunger at UC Berkeley was founded Fall of 2016 with the mission to use our leftover meal points for good. The group aims to grow its presence on campus to encourage students to donate their meal points and engage with our local food insecure community. This program is in strong partnership with Cal Dining, the UC Berkeley Food Pantry, and ASUC.
Student Leaders: Halle Redfearn, Nathan Sumekh, Mackenzie Monroe, and Lucinda Laurence