uc davis student farm worker with an armful of vegetables

CalFresh Participation Evaluation

A project to evaluate the potential barriers that students and employees face when accessing CalFresh food assistance benefits.


Many college students nationwide are considered to have low food security – they have limited access to the quantity and quality of foods which meet their dietary needs and food preferences. To meet the needs of the student body at UC Davis, The ASUCD Pantry, Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center, Fruit and Veggie Up!, and the GSA Pantry operate throughout the week to provide fresh foods, pantry staples, and basics like toiletries. These resources are available at no cost to all UC Davis students during all academic terms. Despite availability of these resources, not all students utilize them.

The Food Security and Food Resource Program Evaluation project seeks to understand the interplay of student food security and use of the many food resources available to students, including on-campus resources as well as CalFresh.


The evaluation questionnaire has gathered information about student food security status, knowledge about food resource use on campus, and CalFresh knowledge and participation. The questionnaire results will be linked to student information – including demographic and academic information – to inform interventions to improve food resource use among groups of students who are most impacted by low food secure status.

Opportunities for Involvement:

No opportunities available at this time.

Recent Milestones:

The research project leads distributed a survey to 10,000 representative UC Davis students to identify food access barriers on campus. The response rate was 15.4% and many students indicated experiencing low food security. In the next phase, respondents who indicated interest in follow-up by project leads will be contacted to assess food security and stress. This secondary survey will be administered during Spring Quarter at which time preliminary data will be organized, cleaned, and evaluated.

Project Leads:

Britt Loofburrow
Doctoral Student
Scherr Lab, Graduate Group in Nutritional Biology

Rachel Scherr
Assistant Researcher / Director of the Center for Nutrition in Schools
Department of Nutrition

Primary Category