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.

Dolphin Pantry Spring 2022 Hours*
  • Monday:  11:00 AM- 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday:  1:00 PM- 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday:  11:00 AM- 6:00 PM
  • Thursday:  12:00 PM- 6:00 PM
  • Friday:  11:00 AM- 5:00 PM

*or by appointment, email

Students may retrieve up to five items per day.  Student/state ID and masks are required. Hygiene and limited cleaning supplies are available upon request for students only.

Donations to the Dolphin Pantry are being accepted, please email to coordinate the donation. To financially contribute to the Pantry please visit Help Student in Need section.


CalFresh Logo

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.

The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) and the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) want to share an important update for the 2020-21 academic year. CalFresh student eligibility has been temporarily expanded to provide emergency relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Review the list below to determine your eligibility. If you are unsure if you are eligible, email for further assistance.

If you are a student who is between 18 and 48 years of age, at least one of the following must apply to you:

  • You are eligible or have been awarded Federal Work-Study.
  • Based on your application for college financial aid and zero dollar Expected Family Contribution (EFC) determination, you may be temporarily eligible for CalFresh food benefits without meeting the student work rule if you also meet the CalFresh income limits.
  • 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.
  • Student Age and Living Situation: Are you younger than 22 years of age AND living with your parents or guardians? If yes, your parents of guardian must apply for CalFresh Food benefits.
  • Enrolled in Promoting Achievement Through Hope (PATH) for current or former foster youth.
  • Are a single parent of a dependent household member under the age of 12 and enrolled in a minimum of at 7.5 units.
  • 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.
  • Be disabled and receive disability-based income or verification of their inability to work because of a physical or mental issue. 
  • If working, be paid for at least 20 hours per week, or an average of 80 hours per month.
  • If self-employed, be working at least 20 hours per week, or an average of 80 hours per month, and earn (at minimum) the Federal Minimum Wage times 20 hours per week.
  • 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).

Please Note:
In addition to the Student exemption, the household must also meet other CalFresh eligibility regulations including income limits, citizenship and non-citizen regulations, residency regulations, among other regulations including other household concept regulations such as who they purchase and prepare food with and or live with.

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, DREAM and undocumented students have been shown NOT to be eligible, even with a work VISA/SSN. Please reach out to the Basic Needs Program to discuss options to assist you. 
  • 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 or

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