Food Assistance Program
We hope that other UC’s will follow in creating similar award opportunities, and ultimately we hope to be able to advocate for this type of program to be expanded to students in other university systems in California and beyond.
FRESH FAP Eligibility
Currently enrolled in at least 6 units
AB540 eligible student
Not eligible for federal benefits
Must have at least $2,250 in unmet need in your Financial Aid package for 22-23
Student eligibility for the 22-23 cohort gets confirmed by the Office of Financial Aid Office and Scholarships (OFAS). Because eligible students have at least $2,250 or more in unmet need, they have room in their Financial Aid package to receive the quarterly $750 grant without affecting their Financial Aid. The quarterly grant will be disbursed via Financial Aid, and students will be able to see the FAP award listed on your Aid Award page once it’s manually processed.
Students who do not receive an invitation for this grant at the beginning of Fall quarter are not eligible to receive this grant. However, if a student's financial aid package changes during the academic year, they may still be added to the program at the beginning of Winter or Spring Quarter.
FRESH FAP participants will receive a grant via Financial Aid disbursement as follows:
Fall 2020: $750.00, by Week 3
Winter 2021: $750.00, with Winter aid disbursement
Spring 2021: $750.00, with Spring aid disbursement
Because this grant program is specifically designed to close equity gaps for a particular student population, and because a student must have room in their financial aid package for this grant, we do not have an application process for the grant. Simply, eligible students identified by Financial Aid are invited to participate for the academic year, and will receive the awards unless they opt-out.
- After the quarterly fee deadline, OFAS provides the Director of the FRESH Hub with a roster of all eligible students
- Eligible students receive email notification of eligibility by Week 1 of Fall quarter
- FRESH Director sends back the roster of students (omitting those who opted out) to begin the award process
- Financial Aid begins manual award processing during week 1 and completes it by end of Week 2
- Please note that after the award is activated, it may still take a few days for the funding to arrive to the bank account
Winter and Spring Quarter
Grant is disbursed with your regular aid disbursement at the beginning of the quarter
Because program eligibility is evaluated for the entire academic year, participants will continue to receive the grant in Winter and Spring, as long as they remain enrolled in school, and continue to meet the eligibility stated above
The FRESH Food Assistance Program is funded with State dollars via the basic needs allocation in the California Budget for 22-23
AB540 eligible students are fully eligible to receive state grants
The FRESH FAP is considered an educational grant, and thus is not eligible to be counted as a Public Charge
Receiving this grant would not negatively affect an individual’s status adjustment application in the future.
As a pilot program that has potential to expand to other campuses and across California, we are looking to evaluate the effectiveness of the program to be able to generate a report that can be used for legislative advocacy in the future. To this end, it is possible that later this year we might invite grant recipients to participate in surveys and/or focus groups as part of a research study. The details of our evaluation plan are still being defined in collaboration with our lead basic needs researcher for the UC system, and we will send further information when available. We ask you in advance to consider joining our evaluation opportunities to help expand this opportunity to more students across the state.
- Workshops will cover topics such as grocery shopping on a budget, nutrition, meal preparation, cooking skills, and financial wellness (budgeting, etc).
- A list of available workshops will be announced via email
- Workshops will be offered at different dates/times of the day to accommodate different schedules
- Opportunities to make up missed workshops will be available throughout the quarter
While comparable supplemental nutrition programs such as CalFresh offer benefits on a monthly basis, our Financial Aid system only allows for quarterly grant disbursements, which means students will receive this grant at the beginning of each 3 month period, which will require that they budget accordingly to prevent food insecurity challenges in the later months of each quarter
We understand that other financial needs/expenses might raise, and this will be your funding to use, but we want to remind you that the grant was specifically designed to support your grocery expenses
In this pilot year, we will not be asking for proof of expenses for this grant, but this could change in future year as the program evolves
Occasionally, we will email or send a newsletter to share additional life-skills opportunities and announcements.
Participants are currently eligible to participate in the 21-22 program, and it is possible that they will be eligible in future years, but students will be notified every Fall quarter if they are eligible, as circumstances and eligibility might change from year to year
As a pilot program, we are currently able to support all students who are eligible based on the current eligibility criteria. While the aim is to continue expanding the program, the number of students we can support each year may vary if our funding changes or is reduced in the future.
Summer FRESH FAP grants might be available for Summer 2022 if funding availability permits. If so, students who register for Summer will be notified of their eligibility after the fee-deadline for Summer Session A. Please note that Summer session is part of our 2022-23 fiscal year budget, which won’t be finalized until June 2022.