Food Resources & Emergency Needs

Eat Healthy and Stay on a Budget

While some students go home for Thanksgiving and Winter breaks, other students decide to stay near campus during this time.

The holidays often prove to be a particularly challenging time when campus dining halls and cafes close their doors. Thankfully, there are many options near campus that will allow you to eat healthily and stretch your budgets.

Low-Cost Grocery Stores

Trader Joe’s

  • 1885 University Ave. OR 5727 College Ave.
  • Frozen food section recommendations: stir-fry, tamales, lasagna, brown rice, cauliflower rice, and mixed vegetables.


  • 1444 Shattuck Place OR 6310 College Ave.
  • Safeway is perfect for whole wheat loaves of bread, instant oatmeal, peanut butter and jelly, yogurt, lunch meat, canned tuna, cereal, milk, and frozen vegetables that can be steamed in the microwave. 

Berkeley Student Food Collective

  • 2440 Bancroft Way #102 (Across from Eshleman Hall)
  • The Berkeley Student Food Collective offers a great selection of reasonably priced local produce and healthy, organic snack.

The Dollar Tree

  • 2440 Shattuck Ave. (1 mile from campus)
  • The Dollar Tree is great for frozen fruits and veggies, canned tuna, instant rice, dried fruits and nuts, whole wheat bread, canned beans, instant oatmeal, and trail mix.               

Berkeley Bowl

  • 2020 Oregon St. (1.3 mile from campus)
  • Although some items are pricey, you can check out the bargain produce section with discounted bags of fruit and veggies.

Low-Cost Eat Out Meals

Cheese N’ Stuff

  • 2442 Durant Ave.
  • Cheese N’ Stuff offers substantive, made-to-order sandwiches at some of the lowest prices in Berkeley.

Sam’s Market

  • 2312 Telegraph Ave.
  • Sam’s Market sells low-cost deli sandwiches and plates, and even has $4 breakfast burritos after 4pm! 

Sheng Kee Bakery

  • 2307 Telegraph Ave.
  • Sheng Kee offers both sandwiches and savory and sweet pastries at extremely reasonable prices.

thanksgiving resources handoutSpecial Thanksgiving Hours 

Cal Dining

  • Thanksgiving Day, 11/22: Crossroads, 3-6pm
  • Friday, 11/23: Crossroads, 11am-3pm. The Pro Shop, 9am-8pm
  • Saturday, 11/24: Crossroads, 11am-3pm. The Pro Shop, 9am-8pm. 
  • Sunday, 11/25: Cafe 3, Clark Kerr, & Foothill,  5-8:30pm. Crossroads, 10:30am-2:30pm and 5-8:30pm. The Pro Shop, 9am-8pm. Bear Market, Club Market, & The Den, 5pm-12am. 

Note: Only Crossroads and the Pro Shop will remain open during the Thanksgiving Break (Nov. 22-24). Cal Dining will resume regular services on Sun. 11/25 with all dining halls open at 5pm (Crossroads will also be open 10:30am-2:30pm). See full hours at

UC Berkeley Food Pantry

#68 MLK Student Union (Basement)
Students, bring your Cal ID. 

  • Thanksgiving Day, 11/22: 10am-1pm
  • Friday, 11/23: 10am-1pm .
  • Saturday, 11/24: CLOSED
  • Sunday, 11/25: CLOSED

Free Thanksgiving Meals

  • Lake Merrit United Methodist Church: Community meal on Thursday 11/22 at 12pm. 
  • UC Berkeley Food Pantry: Community meal (nut-free and kosher) on Wednesday, 11/23 at Berkeley Hillel (2736 Bancroft). Doors at 2pm, food served at 3pm. Registration.
  • Women's Daytime Drop-In Center: Community meal on Tuesday, 11/20 at 11:30am. All are welcome.

winter break resources handoutSpecial Winter Break Hours

Cal Dining 

UC Berkeley Food Pantry 

68 MLK Student Union (Basement)
Students, bring your Cal ID. 

  • Check their website for the possibility of extended hours.

Cal Nourish

  • Cal Nourish - A way for staff and community to help Berkeley students who struggle to make ends meet during the winter curtailment.

Emergency Loan

Consider applying for a 60-day interest-free Emergency Loan before the deadline on Friday, December 16, 2018 at 2pm

For additional information, contact Tang Center’s Social Services at (510) 642-6074 or Ruben Canedo (Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence (CE3) at

Personal Finance Assistance

Drop in with a financial wellness peer mentor to help you understand your personal finances. Peer mentors can answer basic money management questions and help you create a personal spending plan. 

Food Assistance Program

You can also apply for additional food assistance through the Financial Aid Office. Submit an application for Additional Food Assistance to the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office for consideration.