The SBCC Food Share is held monthly on the West Campus meadow, and serves hundreds of students by providing fresh produce from the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County and the Permaculture Garden on campus, and additional food donations. More than 3,500 students visit the SBCC Food Pantry on campus each semester. The SBCC Foundation has partnered with other nonprofits and local colleges to secure grant funding that will expand the food pantry and increase student access to nutritious food.
SBCC is one campus among many where students experience food insecurity. This New York Times article explains that a survey released by Temple University’s Hope Center for College, Community and Justice indicated that 45 percent of student respondents from over 100 institutions said they had been food insecure in the past 30 days.
A comprehensive report of student food and housing insecurity was released in March 2019 – the California Community Colleges #RealCollege Survey. The #RealCollege survey is the nation’s largest annual assessment of basic needs security among college students. The survey, which specifically evaluates access to affordable food and housing, began in 2015 under the Wisconsin HOPE Lab. The report describes the results of the #RealCollege survey administered at nearly half of the schools in the California Community College system in the fall of 2016 and 2018.