Cowell Basic Needs Coffee Shop and Food Pantry reopen

Partnership with Student Union Assembly, CASFS, and Slug Support ensures food pantry access for first week of classes. Services resumed on Monday, April 8.

April 07, 2019

UC Santa Cruz provide fresh produce from the farm for students in need.
UC Santa Cruz provides fresh produce from the student farm for students in need.

The recent asbestos contamination at Cowell and Stevenson Student Commons meant closure of a number of buildings while crews assessed the impact and safely cleaned up the site. This meant a scramble by the folks at the Dean of Students office and Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS, coordinators for the Cowell Coffee Shop) who had to find an alternative.

“Keeping the Cowell Coffee Shop and the Slug Support Pantry open was a priority,” says Rosalinda Gallegos, Dean of Students Coordinator. “We wanted to ensure that students had access to this critical resource and there was no disruption of service.”

Enter the team overseeing the Student Union Assembly (SUA) Food Pantry. Located at OPERS Front Office (by the pool), the combined pantries provided services through the first week of class until the Cowell Coffee Shop reopened on April 8.

We want to ensure students are fed,” said Isabella Bullock, SUA Vice President of Student Life. “As a fellow pantry on our campus, we wanted to support Slug Support’s Food Pantry to the best of our abilities. Whether that be through providing a space to be open or providing staffing, we are here to help battle food insecurity together.”

SUA has operated a food pantry located in OPERS since Spring 2016. The pantry is open 12PM - 6PM all seven days of the week and usually beginning a few weeks into the quarter. A current UCSC ID is necessary to receive food. They also encourage you to bring your own bag. Contacts are Isabella Bullock, Vice President of Student Life, suavpsl@ucsc.edu or Frida Salgado, Pantry Manager, suapntry@ucsc.edu.

The Slug Support Food Pantry is located above the Cowell Coffee Shop and features non-perishable goods from Second Harvest Food Bank, fresh produce from the UC Santa Cruz Farm. It is open to all UCSC students in need of food security assistance. Hours are Tu, W, Thu 3:00pm to 7:00pm. Saturdays they are open from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Additional services are provided by the Dean of Students office. Please email deanofstudents@ucsc.edu, call 831-459-4446 or visit in person at Hahn Student Services, room 245.

“With creative problem solving and our campus partnerships, we were able to ensure student basic needs support services were met for the first week of classes while EH&S worked with the Physical Plant to clean and prepare our site to reopen” said Tim Galarneau, UC systemwide and UCSC Basic Needs Committee Co-Chair and Advisor to the Cowell Coffee Shop and staff member with CASFS. “We are thrilled to now be back up and running, providing students with the support they need.”

Up-to-date information about services provided both on- and off-campus, CalFresh application eligibility and application process as well as food pantry hours of operation can be found on the basic needs website.

See Also