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Basic Needs

UC Merced Basic Needs Hub

Our modified office hours are Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. 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. If you have any questions or concerns about Basic Needs resources, please contact us at

Bobcat Pantry

The Bobcat Pantry provides access to nutritious food and basic hygiene items at no cost to all enrolled UC Merced students. We promote sustainable practices and a holistic approach to a healthy and nutrition-conscious lifestyle.

Steps to access resources: 

1. Please complete the sign-up form before visiting the pantry space. You are able to select the best date and time that fits your schedule. 

2. Please wear a protective face covering and sanitize your hands before arriving. 

3. Please have your Catcard ready to scan at the door.  

For any questions, contact Elizabeth Rodriguez Cruz, Basic Needs Food Distribution Coordinator, at or (209)-316-8136.

NOTE: If you are not in Merced, you can go to any nearby UC with a Food Pantry and pick up food. Just bring your UCM Catcard!


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. Our CalFresh Advocates are available for Zoom application assistance and presentations if needed. Please direct all communication/requests to using your UC Merced email. To find out how you can sign up for an application assistance appointment with one of our student staff, visit our CalFresh page!

Financial Coaching

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, UC Merced's very own Financial Wellness Coordinator, for more information. Click here.

USDA Food Distribution

Open to all students, staff and community members in need of food assistance! 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!

Location: Merced Community College (Parking Lot 2) - Off of G St

Contact Email:

Upcoming Dates: November 20 & December 18, Starting at 10 AM

Volunteer OpportunitiesClick here

Pop-Up People's Pantry

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. More information about Pop-up People's Pantry can be found here.

Location: 936 W. 18th Street

Contact: Erin Meyer,

Number: (209) 205-8102

Dates: Every Saturday

Time: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


People's Fridge

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 contact Erin Meyer. 

Location: 936 W. 18th St. 

Contact: Erin Meyer,

Number: (209) 205-8102

Hours of Operation: Every day 9 am - 5 pm