In the midst of staying up late to study for finals and trying to get through Week 10, my friends and I wanted to destress by making scallion pancakes for this past Memorial weekend. On Monday night, we gathered to cook this delicious dish in the kitchen of our friends who live at the Crown/Merrill Apartments.
One of my friends, Mitra, and I picked up our scallion pancakes from the Redwood Free Market located at Rachel Carson College Cafe, which was previously known as College Eight Cafe. In addition to the ingredients given to us in the meal kit to make the scallion pancakes, we were also given a cute little pamphlet filled with recipes to cook other dishes contributed by students who submitted them for the recipe book. This recipe book alongside the meal kit was given to students in honor of AAPI Heritage Month. More information about what the Redwood Free Market does and what events they have going on can be found on their instagram page: @redwoodfreemarket
Though it was really fun cooking with my friends and cooking the meal kit we were provided from Redwood Free Market, I thought about food scarcity on campus and how the only reason I was able to pick the meal kit up was because I had access to Instagram and was a part of a small group of people who were able to sign up in time.
Especially with the 2022-23 Meal Plan which was recently adopted which now limits access to food, students will no longer have unlimited access to the dining halls and the meal plan will now transition to a points-based system with the lowest meal plan (Blue Slug Points Meal Plan) only giving about fifteen meals per week (if eating three meals a day, students will not be able to eat on the weekends). More reasons as to why this new Meal Plan is horrible is outlined in SUA’s Resolution Regarding the 2022-2023 On-Campus Meal Plans.
For this article, I’d like to focus on providing information on UCSC’s Basic Needs food resources. To find food on-campus, here is a link with information on how to access all the sites available which provide free or at least affordable food to students. They include the Redwood Free Market, Produce Pop-Up, Cowell Coffee Shop, SUA Food Pantry & Lounge, Womxn’s Center Food Pantry, Ethnic Resource Centers Snack Pantry, and Lionel Cantu Queer Center Food Pantry.
Redwood Free Market
Hours: Mondays (2-5PM), Tuesdays to Thursdays (9AM-1PM, Wednesdays: 2-5PM Grad Students), Fridays (9AM-1PM)
Location: College Eight Cafe at Rachel Carson College
Produce and dry goods are available alongside information concerning CalFresh. It’s a self-identified choice-based no limits pantry so students are able to take as much food as they need with their Student ID. Just bring a bag and scan a QR code to sign in to start shopping!
Hours: 11AM – 3:30PM
Locations: Quarry Plaza (Wednesdays), Porter College Quad (Fridays)
They provide fresh produce grown at the on-campus farm located at the base of campus. Low-cost and healthy produce is available to buy either at the Quarry Plaza or the Porter College Quad depending on the day.
Cowell Coffee Shop
Hours: Monday to Friday from 8AM – 3:30PM
Location: Next to the bathrooms when entering the Cowell/Stevenson Dining Hall
Student-run by volunteers, this space provides free drinks (such as tea, coffee, and fresh pressed juices) as well as meals sometimes. Produce and bread loaves are usually available to take home. There is also a vending machine provided by Basic Needs which offers students free yogurt/salad bowls with the discount code being your Student ID.
SUA Food Pantry & Lounge
Hours: 12PM – 6PM
Location: OPERS facility by the check-in desk and pool
Student-led space which provides free groceries for all undergraduate students. There are produce, ready-to-eat meals, non-perishables, snacks, coffee, and tea as well as a microwave available for use. Student ID is needed to access food.
Womxn’s Center Food Pantry
Hours: Tuesday to Thursday from 11AM – 3PM
Location: Cardiff House (located at base of campus near UCPD)
Dry and canned goods available along with a fridge containing drinks and food. There are also menstrual products and other amenities available.
Ethnic Resource Centers Snack Pantry
Hours: Monday to Friday from 10AM – 4PM
Location: Ethnic Resource Centers (Third Floor of the Bay Tree Building, End of Hall)
The Ethnic Resource Centers include: African American Resource and Cultural Center (AARCC), American Indian Resource Center (AIRC), Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center (AA/PIRC), and El Centro: Chicanx Latinx Resource Center. Snacks and ethnic foods are available after signing in at the front desk to access the pantry.
Lionel Cantú Queer Center Food Pantry
Hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10AM – 4PM
Location: The Cantú (Behind Merrill College Next to KZSC Radio Station)
Dry goods, canned foods, frozen meals, and snacks are available alongside a fridge and a kitchen available for use. There are also books and a closet available.