The Berkeley Food Institute in partnership with the Berkeley Advanced Media Institute at the Graduate School of Journalism recently introduced the Just Food Podcast, a new 6-part podcast series about “cultivating justice and health.” Their most recent episode, “CalFresh on Campus: Breaking the Stigma of Food Insecurity” highlights the issues of hunger among students, and some of the steps UC Berkeley and the California government have taken in recent years to combat this issue.
A recent report found that 39% of UC Berkeley students are food insecure and that 23% of graduate students are food insecure. This prompted Berkeley students, the administration and others around the state to start advocating for changes to California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) program, known as CalFresh in California. In 2014, AB 1930 passed, which allows all students who receive work-study to automatically qualify for CalFresh benefits. Other changes have made around the UC Berkeley to promote access to food, including the UC Berkeley Food Pantry, which provides nutritious foods to students in need. According to Ruben Canedo, chair of the Basic Needs Committee at Berkeley, “In the same way that tutoring is a tool for success, so is a food pantry. So are our classes. So is the food assistance program. Everything.”
Check out the full episode, and other episodes from this series here.