Mission & History


The AS Food Bank is an organization that provides fresh, free, and nutritious food to students with financial difficulties. It is run by a group of diverse students who tackle food insecurity on campus by raising awareness on issues surrounding food and empowering student leaders to create an impactful change at UCSB and beyond.

In order to promote the comfort and moral support of students, the AS Food Bank will be accessible during regular school hours and will respect the confidentiality of its users.



As a distinguished public research institution, the University of California, Santa Barbara offers a premier undergraduate and graduate experience that enhances the creative and intellectual abilities of the diverse communities that it serves. However, in an environment of budget cuts and fee increases, students are facing new challenges that affect their academic performance and derail their scholastic and career goals. We are committed to promoting the retention and welfare of every student at UCSB by developing programs and services such as the AS Food Bank that directly address students’ needs. The AS Student Initiated Recruitment and Retention Committee and The Office of the President (UCSB) have collaborated with Associated Students staff, the Student Financial Resource Committee, the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Office and various other departments campus wide to establish this service.

During the 2010-2011 academic year, emergency financial assistance to students across the University of California, Santa Barbara was rapidly utilized by students and was going to be exhausted before the end of the academic year.   Student Affairs staff from various departments came together to form the Student Financial Resource Committee to address the increasing needs of UCSB students during a period of rising student fees and hard economic times.   In October 2011, the Committee along with Associated Students conducted the Student Financial and Food Needs Survey.

The response from 2,150 students led 2011-2012 Associated Students (AS) President, Paul Monge-Rodriguez and the co-chair of Student Initiated Recruitment and Retention, Guadalupe Cruz to begin advocating for the creation of a Food Bank.  With the assistance of AS Executive Director, Marisela Marquez, they drafted a business proposal for the AS Food Bank to service students in need of non-perishable food and toiletries.  In Spring 2011, the University approved the business proposal and AS hired a full time staff to assist with the creation of the AS Food Bank.

Paul Monge Rodriguez and Guadalupe Cruz

Paul Monge Rodriguez and Guadalupe Cruz

Monge-Rodriguez and Cruz worked with Associated Students Board, Committees, and Commissions, the Alumni Association, and Graduate Student Association to secure the start up costs of the AS Food Bank.  They received approval for the Class of 2011 Senior Class Gift through the Alumni Association, contribution from AS President’s Office, the Student Recruitment and Retention Center, AS Business Services Advisory Committee, and the Graduate Student Association.   Additionally, they launched a donation drive and publicity campaign in March 2011, which stocked the shelves and increased awareness about the need for a Food Bank on a University Campus.  With contributions from AS staff, Student Affairs Division staff, students, UCSB community, and the Santa Barbara Community, the shelves were stocked and ready for opening.

The Associated Students Food Bank opened on April 19th, 2011  serving 5 students in its first day.  Today, we have serviced over 6,000 students and over 70,000 visits.

Since July 2014, we have been part of the leadership of the UC Global Food Initiative and the UCSB Food Security Working Group to develop a comprehensive to move the campus towards food security.

The Associated Students Food Bank is run and led by students through the AS Food Bank Committee, AS Food Bank Operations and a full time AS staff working to supervise student staff and advise the Committee.  For more information on the AS Food Bank Committee please click here. If you have any questions regarding the AS Food Bank operation and distribution please contact our staff.

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