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Office of Leadership, Service and Career

Basic Needs Resources 2020-2021

Updated on February 11, 2021

Due to COVID-19, the Basic Needs Hub has altered their times and locations to continue supporting students. Please refer to this page for any changes to our operating hours and services that may arise during this time. Thank you for your understanding.
Modified office hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm.
CalFresh flyer

CalFresh Assistance:

  • The CalFresh office has moved to remote operations. Our student staff will be monitoring emails and directing them to the Human Service Agency (HSA) representative. HSA will reach out to students via phone only.
  • For online application assistance, sign up using the calendar provided on our outreach page.
  • Please direct all communication/requests to using your UC Merced email.
To find out more about CalFresh, visit our CalFresh page!



Bobcat Pantry Distribution Dates

Bobcat Pantry:

Location: Bellevue Lot (Drive-Thru Distribution) 
Upcoming Distribution Date: March 3, 2021 (9:00 - 12:00 PM)
Please complete the grocery bag pick-up form bi-weekly before visiting the pantry! Click here to sign up.
  • Please wear a protective face covering when picking up your grocery bag.
  • We are currently working on securing additional toiletry items.
  • If you would like to donate to the Bobcat Pantry, you can find the donation link here!
For any questions, contact Elizabeth Rodriguez Cruz, Basic Needs Food Distribution Coordinator, at or (209)316-8136.

Food Distribution Dates

USDA Food Distribution ("Drive-Thru" Model)

Location: Merced Community College (Parking Lot 2) - Off of G St 
Upcoming Date: Friday, March 19, 2021
Volunteer Opportunity: Click here 
This service is open to all students, staff and community members in need of food assistance! Please reach out to with any questions.
The USDA Commodities Program (also known as the Emergency Food Assistance Program) is a federal program that provides monthly food packages to individuals and families who meet income guidelines set by the federal government. The Merced County Food Bank administers the program and distributes USDA-provided food to individuals at more than 24 distribution sites every month throughout Merced and Mariposa Counties. Click HERE to learn more!

Pop-up People's Pantry Flyer

Pop-Up People's Pantry

Location: 936 W 18th Street
Dates: Every Saturday
Time: 1:00-2:30PM
  • The Pop-Up People's Pantry is a free food distribution at the 18th St. People's Garden. Please wear a face covering and practice social distancing. 
  • The Pantry also accepts monetary and food donations. Please contact Erin Meyer at or (209)205-8102 to donate. 
More information about Pop-up People's Pantry can be found here.


People's Fridge image

People's Fridge

Location: 936 W. 18th St. 
Hours of Operation: Open 24/7!
Volunteers Accepted:  Sign up here
The People’s Fridge is Merced’s first community fridge. Anyone can take free produce and anyone can leave produce donations. It is free and open to all. No ID or anything else is required. Please wear gloves and a mask when visiting and practice social distancing. 
  • Whole fruit and vegetables can be placed in the Donation Drop-Off Station in the blue shed.
  • If you notice issues with the fridge, you can report them here or contact Erin Meyer at or (209)205-8102.
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Financial Coaching Flyer

Financial Coaching Session

Are you feeling financial anxiety or stress? Let's come up with a financial action plan to help you succeed now, and in the future. Schedule your one-on-one chat with Charah Coleman, Financial Wellness Coordinator for more information. Click here.


Emergency Housing/Emergency Fund Crisis Support

On-campus emergency housing  will not be available Fall 2020 due to local and statewide public health guidelines. If you need temporary housing, please request to meet with the Dean of Students Office  to discuss possible options.
On campus housing (signing a housing contract) may be available for students who are currently homeless or currently living in a home environment that is abusive and/or violent. Students in either of these cases should complete a housing application:

Counseling & Psychological Services

The CAPS staff is regularly working to provide individual counseling, group therapy and outreach workshops that are relevant to the UC Merced campus community. Learn more about the current group activities HERE or explore the CAPS website for additional resources available to you. 


Spring 2021 Technology Resource Program (TRP) 

Need to borrow a University-owned device? Learn more about what technology support is available to you HERE

Additional Resources:

Regional Food Assistance

If you or someone you know is in need of food, find the closest food program in your area here

Central Valley Mutual Aid: (submissions being reviewed currently)

A resource available for undocumented families and AB540 students who are not eligible for stimulus funds. Must be individuals, families, or households in the San Joaquin Valley counties whose main sources of income come from workers without access to stimulus checks, unemployment insurance, and many other relief efforts. Learn more here.

Farmers' Market Finder 

You can find your nearest farmers' market by using the Farmers' Market Finder! Find out which farmers' markets accept EBT as a source of payment and more!