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Food Stock Spotlight: Giving Thanks to Pantry Supporters

Updated: Aug 21, 2020

Written by the Slug Support Pantry Team

How can we begin to say thank you to the many places and faces that support our mission here at the Slug Support Pantry? They say “it takes a village”, and this saying is an apt description of how we’ve managed to put together the great variety of goods our students find at the SSP each Distribution Day. Each week this Summer, we’ve opened our doors to distribute a variety of fresh produce, dry goods, personal care items, and fresh-made meals!

But where does it all come from?

Well… when a community and a good cause love each other very much… the community comes together to support that good cause!

 Image of UCSC students smiling working on the campus farm run by CASFS.
UCSC students working on the campus farm run by CASFS

We hope it will inspire others (like it has inspired us) to see how local organizations, businesses, and partners in the community have bolstered this small pantry. Donations made by these individuals have strengthened a struggling population of Santa Cruz residents in this trying time. Their continued aid has improved the quality of life for many of our students, some living on-campus or off-campus, some re-entry students, some students with children, and some are students employed in the city as essential workers. Today we’d like to show appreciation for these organizations and recognize what they have done for our pantry as well as our community.

CASFS stands for The Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems here at UCSC. The student and staff members of CASFS run the campus farm and do research in sustainable agriculture. These individuals work hard for this Pantry and other non-profit distributors, bringing their produce where it’s dearly needed in an effort to build an ecologically and socially responsible food system in the local community.

Margaret B., Basic Needs Coordinator from CASFS
Margaret B., Basic Needs Coordinator from CASFS harvesting Dino Kale at CASFS farm
Red and yellow onions and apples from this past year's harvests

Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Markets are the farmers’ markets in Santa Cruz that are open four days a week in five locations! Partnerships between CASFS and market vendors make farm-fresh produce available to our patrons at the SSP. From sweet berries to spicy peppers, and leafy greens in between, farmers’ market produce truly makes our pantry experience unique. We primarily feature produce from Happy Boy and Live Earth Farms.

Live Earth Farms farmers market food stand with fresh radishes, peppers, and rainbow chard
Farmers’ market donations filling clear bins on the produce tables at the SSP

Second Harvest Food Bank is an external organization we are very familiar with at UCSC as a partner with the Dean of Students, and resident of its offices pre-quarantine. Its representatives still offer remote assistance and advocacy in applying for the state food benefits program CalFresh. Students of the Pantry can also thank SHFB for their morning scramble, as our eggs along with most of the staples found in the Pantry are donated to us from this local food bank!

Assorted dry goods from SHFB: cereal, jelly, milk, rice, pasta, canned: chili, tuna, beans, fruit

New Leaf Markets is a business started here in Santa Cruz which aims to stock local-grown natural, organic food sustainably produced by farmers, ranchers, and fishers. In it’s growing success, New Leaf has spread while maintaining its roots as an ally to many local nonprofits. One of the most in-demand products that we have received from New Leaf has been locally baked bread!

So here is a TOAST to the New Leaf in Downtown Santa Cruz our lovable loaf lenders!

Spray sanitizer, branded facial, and body cleansers
Stocked bread shelf in pantry donated by New Leaf

Cowell/Stevenson Dining Service is (to the Pantry) that cool neighbor friend you had as a kid who shared all of their fancy snacks. Shout-out to Eva McClure, Assistant Unit Manager for UCSC Hospitality, thanks for surprising us with those yummy chips, cookies, and candy. Our students really appreciated the treat!

Food items that have been donated by Cowell/Stevenson Dining

The Cowell Coffee Shop crafts those delicious tastes-like-homemade (because it is) meals we distribute every Thursday. Most popular so far are their build your own burritos, complete with chicken, rice, beans, salsa, sour cream, and the tortilla all prepared in the kitchen located just above the Pantry by your fellow banana slugs. Looking forward to what they cook up next!

Peach salsa, pinto beans, and spanish rice prepared by CCS

The Dean of Students contributes to this pantry (beyond staffing the Pantry itself), by supplementing the donations received from outside sources with additional foods, snacks, and other necessities.

Many individuals, local businesses, and organizations have stepped-up to feed those who visit the Pantry. Thanks again to:

  • CASFS (UCSC Campus Farm)

  • Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Markets

  • Second Harvest Food Bank

  • New Leaf Markets

  • Cowell/Stevenson Dining Service

  • Slugs in the Kitchen

  • Dean of Students @ UCSC

Any inquiries regarding donations or stock can be directed to:

Basic Needs Coordinator, Estefania Rodriguez (

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