Food Assistance Resources

Click for quick access of the following resources: Dolphin Pantry | CalFresh | Hot Meals | Additional Resources

Dolphin Pantry & Hygiene

The CSU Channel Islands Dolphin Pantry exists to provide immediate food, toiletries and basic necessities at no cost to students in need. The goal of the Dolphin Pantry is to decrease the impact that food and hygiene insecurities have on the academic success of students and to alleviate hunger within our student community. The Dolphin Pantry is located in Arroyo Hall room 114.

The Dolphin Pantry has adjusted to a curbside pickup model. Curbside pickup is taking place every Tuesday from 12:30 p.m - 3:30 p.m. (or by appointment, email to set-up an appointment). Call 805-437-2067 when you are parked in the A5 parking lot (next to Arroyo Hall) and a staff member will bring a bag of groceries to you. Student/state ID and masks are required. Hygiene supplies are available upon request for students only.

Donations to the Dolphin Pantry are not being accepted at this time. To financially contribute to the Pantry please visit Help Student in Need section.


CalFresh (federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program or SNAP) can provide you on-going healthy and nutritional food assistance that puts money in your pocket to use at participating grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Please see student eligibility information below:

1) Paid Work Rule: Are you a college student working in a paid position for at least 20 hours per week OR a total of 80 hours a month on average?

2) Student Age and Living Situation: Are you younger than 22 years of age AND living with your parents or guardians? If YES, stop here and apply for CalFresh Food benefits with your family. If NO, go to Questions 3.

3) Paid Work Rule Exemptions: If you are not working in a paid position for at least 20 hours per week OR a total of 80 hours a month on average, you must meet ONE of the following exemptions:

  • Approved (awarded or accepted) for federal or state work study, anticipates working, and have not refused a work assignment.
  • Students receiving Cal Grant A OR B, and have received a letter from the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) noting that they are potentially eligible for CalFresh benefits.
  • Enrolled in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP).
  • Enrolled in Promoting Achievement Through Hope (PATH) for current or former foster youth.
  • Exerting parental control over a dependent household member under the age of 6 OR between the age of 6 and 12 with no adequate childcare (as determined by the county on a case-by-case basis) OR are a single parent of a dependent household member under the age of 12.
  • Participating in the CalFresh Food Employment and Training Program (CFET) or Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS), or be a recipient of Cal WORKs or Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).
  • For additional exempted programs, visit: CalFresh Resource Center and scroll down to "CalFresh Food Student Eligibility: Approved Programs to Increase Employability".

If you would like to make a CalFresh application assistance appointment with our CalFresh Outreach Advocate email to setup a telephone or Zoom meeting.

Apply to CalFresh Today!

Other Things to Consider

  • International, DACA and DREAM students have been shown NOT to be eligible, even with a work VISA/SSN.
  • Out-of-state students can still be eligible for CalFresh Food if they are residing in California for the school year.
  • Student eligibility is based on enrollment at a higher education institution, which are defined as either: business, trade, technical or vocational schools normally requiring a high school diploma or GED to enroll; or a junior, community, two-year or four-year college or university, or graduate school, regardless whether a high school diploma or GED is required.
  • Veterans and foster youth may have many different forms of income. The applicant's eligibility worker will help them determine what income counts and what doesn't. All will need to be reported on the application.

Hot Meals Program

The Basic Needs Program has dining cards loaded with two meals for Islands Café. These cards are available for students to provide access to hot meals. If you would like a dining card or if you encounter a student that may be in need of a meal, please send them to the Dean of Students office (Bell Tower 2565) or to the Dolphin Pantry (Arroyo Hall, 1st Floor) so we may provide a card and get them connected to available food resources (CalFresh, Pantry etc.) and/or other services available within the Basic Needs Program.

Additional Resources

Local Food Pantry – Find a Pantry
Farmers’ Markets – Find a Market
Free Recipe Book – Good and Cheap (PDF, 7MB)

Apply for Food Assistance

For additional information, please contact the Dolphin Pantry at 805-437-2067.

Back to Top ↑