What is the Food Pantry?
Come receive free food on one of our Farmers Market Days (PDF)
The food pantry is a free service for any MiraCosta student. The goal is to provide an emergency sack lunch or snack for a student who is hungry. This service is one way MiraCosta supports students success, by meeting one of their basic needs, food. While the food pantry is not set-up to provide ongoing or daily food services for students, every student is given a list of community resources (local food pantries and CalFresh application information) and encouraged to reach out to these organizations that address food insecurity among our community. A sack lunch may consist of a can of soup, pasta, chili, etc., a granola bar, a fruit cup or can of fruit, and crackers/chips. The items available vary.
Nutrition and Budget Tour
In partnership with the San Diego Food Bank, the MiraCosta Service Learning & Volunteer Center invites students to participate in the Nutrition & Budget Tour! During this tour students will learn about local food distribution sites, learn how to stick to your grocery budget, learn to read & compare food labels, and much more! After the tour, students will receive a FREE $15 gift card to purchase healthy groceries of their choice, a FREE book full of tasty recipes and simple tips on buying healthy & low-cost foods, and a FREE reusable grocery bag. Limited transportation will be provided (7 seats). Students can pick 1 slot ONLY. Since there are 32 slots available, students may only choose 1 slot. Students cannot sign-up for two slots at a time.
Sign-up for the next tour!
Who do we Serve?
The food pantry serves any MiraCosta student with either a snack, sack lunch, enough canned goods to get them through a day or two while they connect with community food pantries, and when available it can also provide gift cards to our own campus cafeteria or local grocery stores.
How to Access the Food Pantry
The food pantry services are confidential and can be accessed through the Service Learning & Volunteer Center (3306 next to Admissions and Records). These services are also available at the San Elijo Campus in the Student Activities Office and at the Community Learning Center in the front reception desk. During the 2017-2018 school year the food pantry provided 12,741 sack lunches and snacks to MiraCosta students.
- Oceanside Campus: Service Learning, Room 3306: M-TH 8am-4:30pm, F 8am-3pm
- Oceanside Campus: Student Life, Front Desk: M-TH, 4:30-9pm, F 8am-3pm
- Community Learning Center Campus: Front Desk: M-TH 8am-7:30pm, F 8am-2pm
- San Elijo Campus: Student Life, Front Desk, Room 929: M-TH 9am-4:30pm, F 9am-3pm
History of the Food Pantry
The food pantry was started by a service learning student/former Student Advocate, Cathy Robin. While she was enrolled in a Health/Nutrition class, she heard and noticed that students were hungry on campus. As an advocate she quickly turned her concern into action. She met with Dr. Carol Wilkinson, Service Learning Coordinator at the time, to discuss the issue and to find a solution. She remembered that at one of the Service Learning conferences they had recently attended, there was a college that had a food pantry. A committee was formed with various MiraCosta student services: Health, EOPS, Student Activities, and the Nutrition instructor. With the support of Dr. Robertson (Vice President of Student Services at the time) and various administrators, the MiraCosta Board of Trustees approved to have our very own MiraCosta Food Pantry—that was 11 years ago. Cathy Robin passed away on May 2016, but her spirit of advocacy and work to eradicate food insufficiency on our campus continues.
This pantry has been 100% sustained through the generous contributions of faculty, staff, students, and community members. In the spirit of service, classes have picked food insufficiency as topics of interest and as part of their service learning. They’ve raised awareness on campus and included food drives to benefit the MiraCosta Food Pantry. Every year the Service Learning Staff & Student Advocates hold food drives and raise awareness on food insufficiency on campus, locally, and globally.
Your support is welcome and needed!
Donations are welcome at the Service Learning and Volunteer Center, room 3306. The Food Pantry is only able to accept canned, glass, and plastic (factory sealed) containers. Please keep in mind, the recipients of the food pantry may not have a place to cook and may be limited to using a microwave on-campus. The best items for sack lunches include ready-to-eat meals (i.e. EasyMac, Cup-of-Noodle, pre-packaged/pre-cooked rice, pasta, and soups), assorted canned soups, tuna, chili & stews, nutritional granola bars, protein bars, snack size crackers, pretzels, and chips, individually packaged nuts, fruit and vegetable juices, fruits cups/canned & canned vegetables (corn, black beans, kidney beans, green beans, peas), peanut butter, etc. Pull-Top & To-Go containers are preferred for students that don't have access to a kitchen.
Faculty and staff can also support the Food Pantry by setting-up payroll contributions or by donating gift cards from local grocery stores such as Frazier Farms, Walmart, Trader Joe's, Vons, Albertsons, etc. Community members can make financial contributions too! For more information contact the MiraCosta Foundation at 760-795-6645.
- Go to the following link to complete an online donation form: https://foundation.miracosta.edu/donatenow.aspx?sid=
- Choose "Service Learning" in the "Designation"dropdown menu
- Write "Food Pantry" in the comments section
Donate on Campus
- You can drop off food items at the Campus Food Pantry, in 3306 (next to Admissions & Records).
- View a list of items to donate
Students, need more Resources?
Food Resource Locators
San Diego Food Bank and Feeding San Diego each have locators for local food distribution sites. To find a food distribution site near you, click on one of the images below.
Go to the website below, put in your zip code & mileage radius, and it will bring up all the food resources in that area:
Click the "Search" button, select "Nutrition", and enter a zip code to see what is available in that area:
CalFresh, formerly known as food stamps, is a California financial aid program that awards students up to $193 a month for groceries. It helps students buy food and eat healthier, and does not affect their existing financial aid.
CalFresh benefits are accessed by using an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. An EBT card is used the same way you would use a debit or ATM card.Eligibility and the amount of CalFresh benefits issued depend on your household size, income and certain living expenses.
To qualify, one of the statements below must be true:
- I’m enrolled less than half time
- I usually work over 20 hours a week
- I’m approved for work study
- I receive Cal Grant A or B
- I have a child 12 or younger
- I’m under 18 or over 49 years old
- I won’t be in school next term
- I have a disability
- I’m in an employment, training, or foster program (EOPS, AB12/AB212, etc.)
If you are interested in completing a CalFresh Application with a trained MiraCosta staff, please call (760) 795-6616 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your availability (i.e. Monday & Wednesday, from 1pm-2pm) so that we can schedule an appointment. Appointments take no more than 30 minutes.
Visit our Community Partners (inquire at the organization for requirements / more details)
- Brother Benno's: 3260 Production Ave., Oceanside, CA 92054; 760.439.1244
- Catholic Charities: 917 East Vista Way, Vista, CA 92083; 760.631.4792
- Community Lutheran Church: 4507 Mission Avenue, Oceanside, CA 92057; 760.722.3337
- Community Resource Center: 650 Second Street, Encinitas, CA 92024; 760.753.1156
- Feeding San Diego, Member of Feeding America: Various locations throughout North County; 858-452-3663
- Fallbrook Food Pantry: 1042 S. Mission Road, Fallbrook, CA 92088; 760.728.7608
- Interfaith Coastal Community Service Center: 4700 N. River Road, Oceanside, CA 92057; 760.721.2117
- Salvation Army-Oceanside: 3935 Lake Blvd, Oceanside, CA 92056; 760.631.8212
- Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank-North County: Various locations in Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos, & Escondido; 760.761.1140; www.sdnccs.org
- John Landes Park: John Landes Park Gate, 4125 Lewis Street, Oceanside, CA 92056; Last Tuesday of the month, 12pm