Basic Needs



UCI creates an average of 10,000 tons of solid waste annually. As a UC-best practiced program, Zot Bites not only works to increase food security among college students, it also aligns with the Zero Waste UCI goal of decreasing on-campus food waste! According to the UC Institutional Research and Academic Planning, about half of enrolled undergraduate and graduate students experience food insecurity and those experiencing food insecurity tend to buy unhealthy, yet affordable food items to make ends meet. By inviting students as an after-event guest when a surplus of food is available at the end of on-campus catered events, we ensure that no food is wasted and our students are fed!

Section 1

What is Zot Bites?

Zot Bites is a text-based notification platform that invites students to be an after-event guest when a catered event is over and food is available. By opting in, students will receive text messages informing them when and where food is available on campus.

Zot Bites was modeled from Food 4 UCSF Student App and inspired by similar programs including UC Santa Barbara’s Late Guest, CSU Fullerton’s Titan Bites, CSU Long Beach’s Beach Bites, and CSU Fresno’s Catered Cupboard. At UCI, Zot Bites was made possible through the passion and tireless efforts of multiple generations of Global Food Initiative Food Recovery fellows.

Zotbites Logo

Section 2

For UCI Students

Key benefits for opting into Zot Bites

  • Signing up allows you to receive a text alert whenever there's a surplus of food available once an on-campus, catered event is over!

  • Food will be available 30 minutes after the text alert has been sent

  • You can opt in, opt out, and opt back into Zot Bites at any time

  • Disclaimer: Receiving a text alert does not guarantee that you will receive food

Who is eligible?

Must be a currently enrolled UCI student

How to opt-in & opt-out of Zot Bites?

  1. Go to (linked at the bottom of this page).

  2. Disclaimer: Food will be available for a 30-minute window on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  3. After reading the disclaimer page, click Register. 

  4. Read and check the box for the Liability Waiver, then click Create Account.

  5. You will be prompted to login with your UCINetId.

  6. Once logged in, enter your phone number in the prompted box. Click Save. 

  7. A Zot Bites code will be sent to you in a text. Input that code in the Verify Phone Number prompt. Click Verify.

  8. Click the button on the top left corner to opt-in or opt-out of receiving text notifications.

  9. Click Save on the confirmation page. You are now enrolled for Zot Bites!

  10. Click Logout on the left side.

For steps with images, see Slides 16-25.

Zot Bites Renewal System

  • For students currently part of the Zot Bites platform, you will need to renew your Zot Bites account annually. Toward the end of the year, you will receive an email with a button to renew your Zot Bites registration.
  • Students who do not reply to this email will automatically be removed from the recipient list -- meaning you will no longer receive text messages from FRESH Basic Needs Hub. Students who missed the deadline to renew their Zot Bites could re-register through, then click "Register."
Renewal Screenshot

Section 3

For Faculty & Staff

What is a Food Partner? Why are Food Partners important for Zot Bites?

Food Partners send text messages to Zot Bites users (UCI students) whenever a surplus of food is available at the end of their on-campus, catered event.

Who is eligible to sign up to become a Food Partner?

Currently, only UCI staff and faculty are eligible to sign-up as a Food Partner. If student organizations would like to become a Food Partner, we will need their faculty advisor to attend the Zot Bites Food Partner training.

How do I sign up to become a Food Partner?

Food Partner Steps

Section 4