Food+Shelter+Success Blog and News

Welcome to the F+S+S blog! This blog is a space where basic needs student leaders share what they are learning and doing in the context of food and housing. Our content ranges from topics like saving money on textbooks, making food last longer, growing vegetables, and self-care routines. As college students, we understand the struggles of food and housing insecurity, and we are here to help empower our SF State family to achieve success with practices that can be applied to everyday life!

Tips for School

Author: Janaveve Solis

Welcome back! With many of us preparing ourselves for the semester ahead of us, some of us are still struggling with how we can better manage our time and reach our goals moving forward. While we can’t change that we only have 24 hours in a day, we can find ways to manage ourselves throughout each day.

Here are some helpful time management and goal setting tips to keep you grounded, organized, and productive throughout the semester:

  1. Have a way to track or plan things that work for you

While notebook planners are very popular and useful these days, I was never able to keep a planner for more than a few weeks. I loved the idea of them but was never consistent with using one. If something doesn’t work out for you, try something else that does! I found that using online calendars and apps, like Notion, worked best for me. Using your phone calendar or the Outlook calendar is a great way to track important events and dates that also come with the option of setting up reminders. Even using a blank notebook can be perfect if you want to create your own planner!

If you’re interested in a physical planner, we have a limited number of academic budget planners, courtesy of Mstrpln, founded by Aja Dang. Email to request one! (subject to availability)

  1. Make realistic goals

I think we’ve all had the experience of wanting to get X, Y, and Z completed and ending up only finishing a fraction of those things. Sometimes, we take on more than we can actually handle which can make us feel more overwhelmed. Start by making realistic and measurable goals that you know you can get through, that way reaching the bigger goal in mind won’t seem so far away. Even if you don’t get everything done when you wanted to, you can at least feel accomplished for completing the smaller goals. Here’s more information about goal setting using the SMART method!

  1. Take Breaks!

If you feel like you’re having a hard time focusing on the task at hand, it’s not a bad idea to take a break. Even with our hectic schedules, breaks are essential for our brains to continue to work efficiently throughout the day and to avoid burnout. Even a 5-minute break can make a huge difference!

  1. Reward Yourself

After a long week of school and work, I usually dedicate my Saturdays to relaxing and recharging as my reward. A reward can look different to everybody, just make sure it’s something that you look forward to and that you will enjoy! Give yourself some credit for getting through the week and doing the best that you can.


Be patient and kind to yourself in the process when working on time management and reaching your goals. Not everything will be perfect and that’s okay! Keep at it and have a great semester!

Author: Nazareth Bereket

We did it! We’ve made it to the final few weeks of our fall semester! I know at this point in the semester we’re all extremely tired and ready to go on break, and trust me, I feel the same way.

As we head into finals, I just wanted to offer a few tips to make this finals season go as smoothly as it can for all of you.

Studying ahead of time:

Believe me when I say, if you have any exams coming up, studying for them in small increments will help you remember the material better! I completely understand wanting to cram it all during one study session, but trust me, if you split up your work, you’re more likely to retain it for the exam.

Taking small breaks in between your work sessions:

I understand wanting to work through your break to get as much work done as you can, but in all honesty, this just might lead to more burn out. Allow yourself to take a break, reassess your situation, and when you’ve fully reset, go back into your work. Your mind and soul will thank you for this!

Taking a nap:

I know I've pulled enough all-nighters to last me a lifetime, and I know I'm definitely not alone on this one. Usually, medical professionals say that we need a full 8 hours of sleep to feel reset, but sometimes that’s just not realistic if we have a stack of deadlines to get through. So, if you’re planning to pull an all-nighter, please, please, PLEASE do yourself a big favor and make sure to give yourself some time to take a nap. At Least 2 hours just so you can get some work done and not feel half asleep while doing so.

Listing out all of your final assignments:

I’ve found it super helpful that when I feel stressed about finals, I just sit down and list out all of the final work I need to do, along with their due dates so I can complete the work in order of the due dates. This way, you won’t miss any deadlines, and you can get your work done in a timely manner!

Finals season is definitely no joke, and I know we’re all feeling exhausted at the moment, but please give yourself a moment to take a deep breath, drink some water, eat some food, and allow yourself some rest, because you deserve it. I’m wishing all of you the best of luck this finals season, and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday break! I’ll see y’all next year!!

Author: Nazareth Bereket

Now by the time you see this, you’ll either be starting midterms, in the middle of your midterms, or finishing up midterm week. Regardless, I wanted to share some tips on how to make it through midterm season (and if you already had your midterms, you can save this for next semester!)

First Tip: A planner is essential!

You definitely don’t need to have a planner, but it sure helps make a busy week feel more organized. I use my planner to write out any and all assignments for the week, work schedules, and planning for meetings. There’s two ways to go about getting a planner.

The first option:

  • Getting a bullet journal and creating your planner from scratch (for all my creative folks who love to draw, this ones for you!) This sort of journaling not only helps people stay organized, but it’s a great way for you to be creative and customize your planner however you’d like.

The second option:

  • Getting a planner that’s ready to use. Planners like these will have calendars you can refer to, and huge spaces to jot down all of your assignments and projects you have to do.

Second Tip: Office hours are beneficial!

I get it, sometimes the week gets way too busy and we don’t want to go to office hours because it’s time consuming. Or we’re afraid that our professor is going to be super intimidating and avoiding office hours sounds like the best choice. Office hours can be a great way to A). be able to ask your professor any questions/comments/concerns you may have and B). get to know your professor!

Final Tip: Don’t wait until the last minute to do your work!!

I know how tempting it is to want to leave your work until the last minute, especially if the due date isn’t for another couple of weeks. Trust me when I say, if you work through your homework in fragments, it will save you so much time and stress! By the time you finish your assignment/studying, you’ll have a bit more time for yourself since you did it early.

Good luck with midterms!

Author: Yazmin Hernandez Luna

Every year, college students spend on average $1,200 on textbooks and supplies for an academic school year and the cost of textbooks has been increasing for the past 30 years. The textbooks required for our courses are essential in succeeding academically, but the cost of textbooks can place a student in a sticky situation wondering if it’s worth purchasing. As a student, I have explored numerous sites and found two websites where I can obtain my textbooks for free!

Disclaimer: I recommend using the two websites if your device has Anti-Virus protection. 

Z-Library provides a variety of books & articles for free in PDF form. The book can be searched using the book's ISBN or for a better search use the Title of the book.

Library Genesis is a file-sharing site with journal articles, general books, textbooks, images, comics, and magazines in PDF form for free. Simply enter the author, book title, or subject into the search bar, find & download the textbook. Once the textbook is found, click on the title than on the new redirected page, click on the title again, and press the “Get” link to download.

Some of our textbooks might not be available on Z-library and Library Genesis, but that’s okay! Textbook NovaSlugbooks, and Chegg are alternative resources for buying or renting textbooks at a great discounted price. Our SFSU Library is a great source for searching for books and recommends websites that may have the book you are looking for. Purchasing and/or renting books can affect a student’s budget. If you are in need of financial assistance, I encourage you to check out Food + Shelter + Success economic support or the Hope Crisis Fund, a fund that assists students financially to stay on track with their academic success. 

Editor’s Note, September 27, 2022 (Raine Yenlinn): 

Our school’s Associated Students implemented a service that provides up to 2 free textbooks for students per semester, called Project Connect. Do note that it is on a first-come-first-served basis, so be sure to keep a lookout for application deadlines. Also, certain students are considered for priority like EOP, GSP, AB-540 students! For more information, check out their website here

Author: Isis Fields

Hey there fellow college students! Here at Food+Shelter+Success, we are so proud of you for taking the initiative towards higher education. We recognize you are at SF State making a difference while benefiting your future, life, and career. Keep up the hard work and check out these study skill life hacks to help maximize your academic skills!

What's your learning style?

School can be challenging; exploring more about how you learn can empower you to be your best student self. Part of improving your academic experience is understanding your preferred learning style. Several learning styles influence the way students retain knowledge. A common learning model is “VARK” which stands for visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. Knowing how you most effectively learn can help guide your study habits, teacher choices, and which programs and tutors could be of assistance to you. Finding opportunities to connect with other students that have similar study style can help you excel, and working with someone who learns differently can help challenge you to grow.


Studying smarter, not harder, can help avoid burnout. Once you explore which VARK learning styles work best for you, engage with some study practice! Reflect on your school, work, and test results to create study goals for yourself, integrating useful VARK strategies. Tip: Don’t forget to consider your time, deadlines, and group cooperation.

Create Your Space

Improve your study experience by trying these best practices:

  • Allocate a set time, dedicated to only doing your schoolwork.
  • Create an environment that best helps motivate you.
  • Consider putting on some classical music or sounds of rain to keep you calm and focused.
  • Before getting into anything serious allow yourself to transition into a mind-frame. I encourage you to engage in a five to ten-minute meditation to minimize anxiety and to increase calmness.
  • Mindfulness is the name of the game, it is a self-assessment of the mind and the body working together. Being aware of how your physical needs are important to stay on track with the flow of work.
  • A simple walk around the block can be great to reintegrate your mind with your body to listen to its needs.
  • Eating healthy foods is necessary to fuel your body to take great action.

Fuel Your Mind

Your experience as a student is influenced by many factors, both challenging and helpful. We recognize that the basic need of having access to food impacts overall performance of work and daily life. Our desire is to best support you where you are. Food+Shelter+Success provides the opportunity to benefit from the three food programs; CalFresh Help Clinic, Associated Students Gator Groceries, and Emergency Meals. CalFresh Help Clinic may provide students with funds to buy groceries every month, while direct access to foods is available through the other programs. Please take advantage of these services, as they are meant to keep you sufficient as a developing student!

Author: KC Agramon

After this long and unusual semester, we are all looking forward to finally getting a relaxing break. There are a variety of ways to enjoy your time after the semester is over. Here are some things you can do to make this holiday break as productive as possible! 

But First Errands

For me, the first step to destress is to accomplish everything on my to-do list items; like going grocery shopping. Getting my errands done for the week gives me relief, because I know after I finish everything on my to-do list I can relax! Though getting my shopping done early can be a relief, if I do not have enough resources that week it can actually be more stressful than relaxing. If you feel the same or find yourself not having enough money to buy your groceries reach out to the CalFresh help clinic! CalFresh gives eligible students free grocery money. Do you need help applying? The CalFresh Help Clinic can help you with the application process if you don’t know where to start.

Next Adventure!

Once you get your errands done you could also explore your city! I live in San Francisco and like to bike and walk to different locations in the city and enjoy the scenery here are some of my SF go-to’s.

  • Lake Merced where you could enjoy nature and the lake.
  • Ocean beach where you can hear ocean waves and scenic views!
  • Embarcadero where you could see the bay bridge and if you walk far enough you could enjoy the pier.
  • You could also walk to Marina Green/ Crissy Fields where you could see the Golden Gate bridge, marsh, and the beach all within close location from one another!
  • If you’re feeling like you just want to stay in one place and enjoy the views Palace of Fine Arts or Dolores Park might be the place for you. These two locations both have great picnic areas where you can sit by yourself or with family! You could also have your picnics on previous locations stated above (just make the most out of it)!

There are a variety of ways you can enjoy your break. These are resources and locations you can come to relive that stress and check off those items on your to-do list this break! Remember to follow the COVID guidelines and keep 6 ft away from each other during the break. Make sure that if you are not feeling well; make the choice to stay in and help reduce the rate of COVID. For more information on wellness and relaxation resources visit For more information for students facing housing or food insecurity visit!

Author: Victoria Haynes

As the spring semester comes to an end and as finals are quickly approaching, it is important to remember that eating nutritious meals is an important part of your student success. Being a college student means always having a busy schedule, but with a few meal prep tips, you can save yourself time and stress! There are so many benefits to meal prepping, such as saving money, reducing food waste, and saving you time throughout the day and week. Let’s start with these tips that will help you with the meal prep process:

1.) Remember the nourishing 4: Starch/carb, protein, fat, and fiber (fruit/vegetable) are the four food groups that are part of a balanced meal. You can use the Nourishing 4 as a template for creating a healthy meal by aiming to include at least three of these food groups for meals, and two for snacks. Healthy eating is going to look different for everyone depending on your needs, lifestyle, culture, and food preferences. Aiming to include at least three of these food groups for meals, and two for snacks is a great way to consume all the nourishing four. Check out the Nourishing 4 handout that goes into more detail!

2.) Write a weekly grocery list so that you only have to take one trip to the grocery store. This process will help you to save time when it’s time to start cooking. When you're running short on time, the last thing you want to do is make several trips to the grocery store! Try and pick a day where you are the least busy.

3.) Limit yourself to meal prepping only one day a week. Meal prepping is all about investing time at the beginning of the week, so it saves you time later in the week. Limit your meal prepping to just one day a week (I personally love getting my meal prep done on Sundays, which is when I have the most time!), then keep your daily cooking to under 20 minutes a day (reserved for reheating and quickly cooking last-minute items). This will help make sure your meal prepping time is paying off!

4.) Opt for pre-made foods instead of completely homemade. Homemade marinades, broths, and sauces are amazing, but they take additional time. When time is short, use store-bought broth, herb pastes, pre-made sauces like tomato sauce and salsa, and canned beans. Not only will it save you time, but there are so many options available that you’re sure to find something you like (or maybe try something new!).

5.) Plan out what you will be eating each day of the week. This will help you when grocery shopping for specific ingredients and you will be sure to consume nutritious meals throughout the week. Check out this meal planning tool to get you started! And don’t forget you can always add in meals that you think you’ll eat/order out for.

I encourage you to try meal prepping and see if it works for you! At San Francisco State University, Health Promotion & Wellness offers nutrition resources where you have access to healthy recipes (try and use these recipes for your meal prep!), nutrition and cooking demo workshops and videos, free food resources, and so much more!

You can also maximize your food resources by applying for CalFresh! CalFresh provides qualified applicants with free money for groceries each month. For application assistance, visit the CalFresh Help Clinic.


Author: Nazareth Bereket

Look, I get it. You’re super busy with school, work, your own personal life, and I'm sure a million other things, so much so that you forget you haven’t eaten since 10 am. Being a college student can get extremely hectic, and sometimes you just want to buy yourself a meal, even though it would be smarter financially to make it yourself. Here are a few food hacks for when you’re extremely busy with your week!

Prep your food the day before

While it might take a bit more time to do, prepping your meals ahead of time can help save you time for your busier days ahead! You can practically prepare any sort of meal, like a salmon or chicken bowl, or pasta. Prepping the day before leaves you extra room to handle other things that may need more attention the day of, and keeps you organized overall!

Make meals that can be eaten continuously throughout the day

Smoothie bowls, yogurt parfaits, pasta, breakfast sandwiches etc. are meals that can be made in bigger quantities and can be eaten throughout the day! It’s easier to make meals that can triple as breakfast, lunch and dinner, that way you’re not having to spend as much time making the food.

Carry snacks with you when you can

Our bodies need as much energy as it can hold to help us get through the day. Snacks like pretzels, plantain chips, granola bars, etc. are all great snacks that fill you up until it’s time to eat your meal. Being able to fit snack time in whenever you can not only give you an excuse to take a break, but it helps you refuel quickly so you can get back to work mode!

I understand that as great as these ideas might sound in theory, it might feel a bit hard to do at times! But being able to prep your food ahead of time can become a great way to not only implement a routine, but have extra time to yourself. Food is one of the top important sources for energy, and to help the body refuel, and I only hope that all of you make sure to eat when you can, and to try out these hacks if you haven’t already! For more information regarding nutritional information , please feel free to check out our nutrition resources down below!

Wishing all of you good luck for finals!

Author: Nazareth Bereket

We’re all extremely busy people. We have tasks to take care of and let’s be honest, we aren’t spending as much time taking care of ourselves like we say we should. And when we finally have time to sit back, relax, and reflect on the week, we’re way too exhausted to focus on self-care. I think regardless of how much we have to do, fitting in time for a self-care hour, or even a self-care day is extremely important for our well-being. We need to take the time to reset for the next week! So, here are some ideas for self-care that could be helpful!

Taking a Nap

I know it sounds too simple, but simplicity can be super effective. We need sleep in order to function, and taking a nap gives you the time to reset from the world and come back fresher, more energized, and ready to handle life’s responsibilities. 


The cool thing about working out is that you can work out however you like! Whether it's bike riding, yoga, Zumba classes, or lifting weights, working out can help boost your energy, and of course, keeps you healthy. Working out is a form of self-care, and if you have the time to do so, give it a try!

Watching a favorite Movie/Reading 

I know when I need to de-stress from all of my daily tasks, I love putting on my favorite movies to watch, especially while I eat my dinner. Taking the time to do things you enjoy adds to the relaxation factor and allows you to not think about what you have to do at that moment. It gives your brain a break and brings a bit of fun into your day/night. 

With that being said, I hope all of you take the chance to have a self-care day when you can. You all are deserving of quality relaxation and remember that taking a break is NEVER a bad idea!

Author: Janaveve Solis

Do you ever feel like your home and space are making you feel more stressed? I definitely feel stressed just looking at my pile of clothes on the floor or the sink full of dishes. When we have long days at school, work, or in life in general, it's important to feel relaxed and tranquil in our home environments. When our spaces feel hectic, it can further affect our stress levels and emotional well-being. These tips might be the perfect solution for creating a more calming environment at home.

Here are some steps we can take to create a stress-free home environment that you can be sure to thrive in:

Clear the Clutter 

Studies show that clutter in homes can increase stress hormone levels. Cleaning may not be at the top of your list but clearing any clutter will help keep you feeling at ease in your space. In addition, it can be a very therapeutic task! Ever heard of delayed gratification? Well, this is a perfect example since after finishing a not-so-fun job, you can take pleasure in seeing the beauty of a clean room and feel good about your space.

Become a Plant Parent 

Adding greenery to your scenery and space, even if it’s just one or two plants, can brighten up the atmosphere and change the overall ambiance. Various studies have shown the benefits of having houseplants which are similar to the effects of being in nature. This includes reducing stress levels, boosting moods, and even improving focus and productivity. Be sure to check out any local plant nurseries or flea markets that have a wide variety of plants to fit your needs at home. Here’s a list of easy plantsto take care of for beginners!

Open a Window or Door

Pop open a window or door to allow some fresh airflow into your space. This will help to remove any stuffiness and increase air quality. I love doing this especially when my room feels hot and stuffy or if I just need some fresh air to wake me up. Try this for at least 10 minutes a day and you’ll be sure to feel a difference in energy around your home. Breathe it in and breathe it out.

Let the Sunshine in

Letting in some natural sunlight is a great way to brighten up your space and get your daily dose of Vitamin D. Sitting in direct sunlight can also be a very relaxing activity to improve your mood at home! If you can’t get an adequate amount of sunlight, opt for a lamp that can keep your home well-lit and bright.

Dedicate a Space for Relaxing

Dedicating a safe and comfortable space that you can relax in will help you unwind from the stressors of everyday life. Creating a comfy place like a spot on the couch or a corner in your room can do wonders when you want some space from your chaotic life. My favorite place is next to my window where I can bathe in some sunlight and get some fresh air. Check out these free mindfulness and breathing meditations you can do in your comfort spot!

Although life tends to get in the way of taking care of our spaces, following these tips can help you feel less stressed in the midst of our stressful lives. Give gratitude and love to your space and it will give you back so much more.

Author: Elia Azazel

As I grow older, I learn more and more tips and tricks about buying, storing, and cooking food. My freezer used to be very empty, but I’ve become more aware of how useful my freezer can be for storing food because it saves me time, food, and money. Before my fresh produce starts to go bad, I can save it by putting it in the fridge! This lets me make the most out of the money I spend on food. This blogpost is a list of ways you can use your freezer to make your fresh food last longer!

A general tip to know is that if you wash the food beforehand, make sure you dry it thoroughly so that there is not any excess ice attached to the food. 

Freeze Leftovers / Meal Prep

This is the most useful method for me because I sometimes want a cooked meal, but do not have a lot of time to cook. What I typically do is cook a large amount so I can freeze the leftovers in small meal portions. When I want to use frozen food, I take it out from my freezer and place it in my refrigerator the night before to give it time to thaw. You can freeze soup, rice, ground beef, and more! But DO NOT immediately put steaming hot food into the freezer, as this can lower the temperature of the freezer or other items next to the hot food, which could cause surrounding food to partially thaw and refreeze. Cool it down in the fridge overnight first. Small portions of hot food can go directly into the fridge. To quickly and safely cool large batches of hot food, separate it into shallow containers. Refrigerate or freeze within 2 hours.

Storing frozen food in Ziploc bags is the easiest and most efficient way of doing this. You need to freeze food in small portions, and Ziploc bags are perfect for that. Make sure you remove as much air from the bags as possible! (Tip: Reuse your Ziploc bags by washing them after using them!)

In terms of freezing and storing liquid meals like soup, what I do is freeze them flat. Once they are solid, I can stack them on top of each other or line them like books on a shelf. This makes storing meals easier and more compact. 


Meat is very tricky and I recommend looking into it a little more before doing it. But I wanted to touch on it briefly to give you insight on how useful it is for me! Because I put ground beef in a lot of my meals and cooking raw meat takes a lot of time, I cook a large amount and store small portions in my freezer. I wrap handfuls of ground beef in saran wrap so that when I need to defrost some, it is already proportionate to the amount I need for my meal. 

You can freeze both cooked meat and raw meat. Do not refreeze meat that has been defrosted and left outside of the refrigerator for 2 hours because they will be vulnerable to getting bacteria. However, if food is thawed in the refrigerator you can still refreeze it, but some of the quality will be lost. Freeze leftovers within 3-4 days. Do not refreeze any food left outside of the refrigerator for longer than 2 hours. 

Fresh Fruit

If stored properly you can freeze fruits for a year! This is especially great for fruits you miss when they’re out of season. Wash your fruits, dry them, and slice them before putting them in the freezer. To prevent the cut fruit from sticking together, you can line the slices on a baking sheet or cutting board and let them freeze. Once they’re solid you can transfer them into a Ziploc bag or sealed container. I also use this cutting and freezing method for vegetables like carrots and squash! 

Fresh Vegetables

Freezing raw vegetables is great for me especially because I sometimes don’t get around to eating them before they start to go bad. Vegetables can be frozen as they are or in slices. For some vegetables, it’s better, but not required, to blanch them before freezing. Blanching is boiling or steaming the vegetable for 30 seconds to 10 minutes depending on the type and proportions of the vegetable. After blanching them, cool them, pat them dry, and freeze them. For more detailed help on blanching, here are two sites that I found very useful.

Blanching Chart 1

Blanching Chart 2 

I really, really find freezing food to be extremely helpful, especially during the pandemic because it lets me go outside less frequently. Before I would accidentally let my food go bad and I would be frustrated with the loss of a meal and money, but using these methods let me save my food before that happens. 

Want to try these freezing methods? Why not try it with free food! Food+Shelter+Success can connect you to resources that can get you free groceries, free grocery money, and free meals! Find out how on our website!

Additional resource

Refrigerator and freezer storage time frame chart 

Author: Yazmin Hernandez Luna

When was the last time you paid attention to your breathing and gave your body the chance to relax? Many of us may be unable to recall because it is easy to ignore our needs and forget to practice simple acts of self-care like breathing. When we stress about certain events happening in our lives, we can forget to live in the present moment.

As a first-generation college student at SFSU, I’ve had my fair share of struggles and uncertainty, many surrounding food and housing insecurity. The stress of constantly thinking about my next meal and/or if I will have enough to pay next month’s rent has been overwhelming and has affected my schoolwork at times. When I am feeling stressed or uncertain, one thing that has really helped ground has been meditating. Meditating can help center you and reduce stress, which is important for college students. Research has demonstrated that academic-related stress can decrease motivation, increase the risk of dropout, and the risk of mental health challenges. Now I am not saying that meditating will be the solution to all our problems, but it is simple, easy, and can work towards positive health outcomes and academic success. Not sure if meditation is for you? Check out the benefits and give this super easy meditation a try this week!

Benefits of Meditation 

A simple 5-minute meditation every day can help ease your mind and body. The benefits of meditation consist of:

  • Reduces stress levels, anxiety, depression, lower blood pressure, and cortisol levels
  • Helps you learn to live in the moment in training the brain to stop focusing on past traumas/future stresses
  • Helps sharpen the mind as we age
  • Strengthens the neural circuits that we use the most, pruning away the least used connections
  • Can improve memory, self-awareness, and goal setting
  • Helps with sleep
  • Hypo Metabolic State allows the body to rejuvenate

5-Minute Meditation 

Anyone can do mediation! Give this 5-minute meditation a try this week! Here are a few tips:

  • Meditation can be challenging at first but practice makes perfect! Practice frequently to build-up endurance and confidence
  • Find a comfortable position [Sitting down on a chair or laying on the floor/bed]
  • Begin by taking slower and deeper breaths; Inhale through your nose & hold for a few seconds then exhale through your mouth and hold for a few seconds and keep repeating
  • Tune into your body and notice any feeling of tension or tightness and allow your body to relax in those parts
  • Does your mind wander? That’s ok and common. Try bringing your attention to the body by picturing one thing that made your smile or thankful today & rest at that moment
  • Smile if you want, allow it!
  • When you are ready, come back to your awareness on your own time and open your eyes
  • Lastly, enjoy the rest of your day!

Meditation is the time to connect with oneself. Be patient, be kind, and don’t forget to live in the present moment!

Author: Isis Fields

Appetites and periods, it’s bloody brilliant that food and the menstrual cycle are related! Sometimes you may feel more satisfied after eating a piece of cake rather than an apple, and indulging is absolutely ok! It’s normal to experience cravings, sometimes it can mean we are experiencing nutrient deficiencies, or sometimes it's just that time of the month. Let’s dive in and talk menstrual cycles.

What is Menstruation?

The menstrual cycle includes hormonal changes that a person with an uterus experiences each month. Menstruation, or having your period, is when blood and tissues shed from the uterus and exit the body via the vagina. The menstrual cycle is counted from the first day of someone’s last period up to the first day of their next period. The outer lining of the uterus begins to regenerate within 21-35 days. Hormone levels change throughout the cycle that can cause menstrual symptoms including mood changes, irritability, trouble concentrating, fatigue and physical discomfort for some folks including bloating, headaches cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation. These symptoms are common and for some, it’s possible to manage the severity of these experiences through mindfulness and food.

Did you Know…

Some cultures believe that the moon can influence a person's menstrual cycle?

The Benefits of Food

Overall healthy eating can promote wellness and when it comes to relief from menstrual symptoms, certain foods can offer benefits. To help decrease bloating and fluid build-up skip the salt and sodium! Try to limit caffeine and alcohol, they can impact mood and sleep. Foods high in fiber such as grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables can help limit reabsorption of excess estrogen and increase estrogen excretion. Overall, try to choose foods that provide calcium, such as low-fat milk or yogurt, almonds, kale, beans or fortified foods, such as soymilk and tofu. Additionally prioritize vitamin B6, which can be found in pistachios, turkey, garbanzo beans, bananas, potatoes and fortified cereals. Lastly don’t forget about physical activity! Staying active can help with fluid status and improve mood.

Keep a Moon Journal

In my personal experience, I have benefited from keeping a “Moon Journal”. This has helped me to keep track of my period cycle so I can have an idea of when my premenstrual cycle will be. Keeping a journal can not only help you stay up to date with the days of your period, but also of the foods that feel good for your body. I would recommend that you write your diet and symptoms during your PMS and menstrual cycle. Focus on how you feel and how much you ate. Allow for you to be honest with yourself as you are figuring out your needs. This can be beneficial towards understanding if personal experiences are related to the direct foods that are consumed. As time progresses, you’ll be able to create a diet that is unique to your wellbeing.

Don’t Break the Bank

Paying for menstrual supplies every month can be a financial burden and as students, it is important to be budget friendly. The good news is, Health Promotion and Wellness provides FREE tampons and pads to students. Students can pick up kits with tampons and pads at the HPW office on select days or from AS Gator Groceries weekly for more information visit the HPW website.

Authors: Raine Yenlinn and Cindy Chu


Hello Gators! We wanted to check in with you all as midterms are around the corner!

Take a moment to breathe and give yourself a little pat on the back for getting through the first half of fall semester because from here on out, it’s gonna go by so quick — from Thanksgiving to winter break. Don’t forget to utilize TASC that is hosted at the library and virtually through Zoom!

Spending little as 30 seconds or a minute to check in with yourself and to breathe can be good enough!


Below are some quick meditation and guided breathing videos to help relieve stress:


If you’d like to become more active and get involved in something to really get that blood flowing (and maybe even meet new friends!), don’t forget to check our Mashouf Wellness Center! There are many fun programs - like BARRE, body combat, and pilates - available for free for all students (except CEL and ALI students who are offered a membership fee). Check out all that they have to offer here!

But if you’d enjoy something that is a little less demanding, the Mashouf Wellness Center also offers Game Nights (on selected nights) and Wellness Wednesdays — more information here!

We would also like to take this time to remind you that Food+Shelter+Success is here to help all students who are currently facing an unexpected crisis that risks impeding on academic success. If you are searching for that support, fill out our form here, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. For general information about our Food+Shelter+Success department, check out our website here!

Aaand join us for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week happening from November 14th-18th. Stay tuned for events and prizes!


Here are some upcoming blogs to look out for:

  • Maximizing Your Grocery Shopping
  • Journaling 101


If there are any other topics you’d be interested in learning more about, feel free to reach out to us through our email at

You’re doing amazing, we’re halfway done!!


December 2022

Groceries are expensive in the city, but you’d be surprised to find how much you could save by making your own food rather than eating out as often. In this post, we will discuss valuable store options near SF State and provide tips on how you can further maximize your grocery shopping. 

TJ’s vs Target vs Whole Foods — who is the winner? 

Near SF State, there’s Trader Joe’s, Target, and Whole Foods located by the Stonestown Galleria mall. It’s difficult to decide which store is the best so here’s some highlights of each store: 

  • Trader Joe’s has unique products that can only be found at their stores. Prices are reasonable and they carry a variety of produce. Their pre-packaged meals are priced decently. Our favs are the frozen meals like tikka masala and paneer, Taiwanese green onion pancakes, soup dumplings, hash browns, and the croissants (get the almond croissants this fall season!). But honestly, TJ’s frozen selection is immaculate!! Also, you can’t forget their extensive snack selection. Looking at you “healthy” takis and mini peanut butter crackers :) Their seasonal drinks are also something y’all should look out for with amazing flavors and the perfect sweetness. Although TJ’s doesn’t have a rewards program, it’s a great store for getting your weekly grocery staples. 

  • When it comes to Target, you can never go wrong especially with Starbucks in-store and with an extremely underrated savings app — every trip at Target can be worth your time and money; and what we like to do is scroll through their little savings tab in the app on the bus ride there to kill time. The pasta and pasta sauce sold at Target are inexpensive, but generally, most Target brand food items are relatively less expensive. We also recommend getting all of your kitchen tools there too, especially their plates and utensils! 

  • We admit, Whole Foods is on the pricier end compared to TJ’s and Target. However, their seafood and meat products are higher quality. Moreover, Amazon Prime members will get 10% off sale items and weekly discounts on best-selling items. You can order groceries through Amazon Fresh in the Amazon app to get Whole Foods groceries delivered to your door. 

Honorable store mention: 

  • Although not the nearest option to campus, Safeway has a 5% discount card for SF State students (inquire in store!) upon request with proof of student ID; and you can opt to receive emails for free grocery items. Just last week they gave out free carton of eggs! 

Local For you! 

The Stonestown Farmer’s Market is open Sundays from 9am-1pm. They accept EBT and will do a “Market Match” where you get a one-to-one dollar match if you spend $1-10. In other words, you will get an extra $10 to use at the farmer’s market if you bring your EBT card! Go to the Information Booth at any participating farmer’s market in SF to get tokens (1 token = $1) to use at the vendors. Find more about Market Match and other farmer’s market savings here

And check out this website here for grocery deals local to you! 

Everyone loves eating out at fast foods or restaurants because you get the food all ready to be eaten without the hassle of buying the ingredients, cooking, and washing the dishes. Although we can’t promise you’ll be more motivated to cook at home, hear us out: put on your favorite show, playlist, or podcast in the background while you make food and it’ll reduce your kitchen fears. Or invite some friends over and have some fun making meals like heart-shaped pizzas! 

Let’s help each other be our healthiest selves! If you have any useful tips, feel free to share it with us at or DM us @foodsheltersuccess on Instagram and we will update this post! 

Author: Janaveve Solis

Wondering what financial wellness is and how it can benefit you in your current life and in the future? Financial wellness is an essential part of personal well-being since money can determine how “well” you live your life. Of course that doesn’t mean money is the road to happiness, but rather money is a way to maintain your wellbeing just as self-care is to maintaining your health. Building good money habits and implementing ways to maintain your financial wellness can really benefit you in the long run and ensure that your quality of life remains healthy. Furthermore, let’s go over some ways that we can put financial wellbeing into practice and get you started on your journey to financial wellness.

Track Where Your Money Goes

By familiarizing yourself with what you typically spend your money on, you can decide if you need to either make a change with the way you spend or see what you need to prioritize such as bills, food, transportation, etc. This allows you to see how much you’re spending and determine how your bank account is doing overall. Simply checking your bank account online can really give you helpful insight. Some mobile bank apps and budgeting apps give you the option to track the amount you spend on a given week or month and to track what you spend your money on. A great app that I would recommend using is Mint Budget Tracker & Planner which allows you to easily track updates or changes in your bank account and create categories for what you’re spending. If you’re not into using budget or banking apps, here are some great resources that you can use to track your expenses!

Set up a Budget that Works for You

Budgets are a really great way to maintain financial stability and allow you to have enough money to pay your bills on time, to save for future things like a car or a home, or to have emergency funds for when unexpected events occur. After tracking your expenses, try to create a budget that works for you. There’s a common budget rule called the 50/30/20 which is a percentage-based budget that divides your income into 3 categories. 50% is spent on needs, such as rent, food, or other bills, 30% is spent on wants, and 20% is spent on savings. Here’s more information about the 50/30/20 budget rule and a budget calculator! Additionally, you can use budget tracking apps, like Mint Budget Tracker & Planner that was mentioned in tracking expenses, to set up specific budgets for different categories which allows you to track your budgets and how much you spend based on your bank account activity. There are so many other ways you can set up a budget system so choose one that will work for you. Check out these links for more ways to manage your money!

Use Credit Wisely & Build it Up

Credit cards can be convenient for purchasing things now and paying off the card at a later time, but the way you use your credit card can determine your financial health and your credit score. Credit scores are used for many things like buying a new car or a new phone, borrowing loans, and in the long run qualifying to get a new home so it’s important to practice good credit usage habits to build up your credit score. There are many ways to build up your credit score including making payments on time, keeping your credit spending to a minimum of 30%, or ensuring that you pay off any monthly bills like rent or utility. Here’s more information on building your credit score!

Save Early for Retirement

It’s never too early to start saving for retirement! Opening a retirement savings account will set you up for financial wellness in the long run. Starting early can really make a difference in how much you save when you retire. There are a few options for setting up a retirement account which can either be with an employer-sponsored plan, often known as a 401(k), or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Here’s a breakdown of different retirement plans that you can choose from that will work for you. If you haven’t checked it out already, iGrad is a really great financial wellness resource that really breaks down all you need to know about financial literacy, including retirement savings. Don’t wait to start saving for retirement, start now!

I hope these tips help you on your journey to financial wellness! Don’t forget to check out iGrad
for more resources including repaying student loans, career development, investing, and so much more!

Author: Nazareth Bereket

First and foremost, I hope everyone had a good and restful winter break! Although we’re already deep into the semester, it’s never too late to figure out your perfect balance of work and fun! Of course, we’re all trying our absolute best to make the most of the spring semester, especially because more classes are back in person, but sometimes our work can get in the way of having fun. It’s super important to try and sustain your social, mental, emotional, and physical wellness while handling your education. Here are a few ways you could incorporate more social time in a busy schedule!

  1. Attending meetings through different clubs/organizations at school

  • Health Promotion & Wellness provides a series of events/workshops that tackle different topics like financial advice, where to get free/affordable meals, sex education, and so much more! For more information, head over to the events and workshops page.

  1. Head to the event fairs we have near the Cesar Chavez Student Center, and get to know the different organizations and resources on campus! More information on University Calendar.

  1. Designate a specific day(s) in your week to do an activity you love, whether that’s watching a new movie that just came out in theaters, or going to a park in the city with friends to enjoy the good weather and fresh air.

  1. Join a Zumba class or group workouts down at the Mashouf Wellness Center and focus more on physical wellness.

  1. Try taking a course on a subject you love, even if it doesn’t correlate with your major.

  1. Join a club/organization that you’re passionate about, we have plenty of them at state.

Whatever your definition of fun might be, make sure to try and incorporate it into your schedule. Occupational wellness is extremely important, but so are you! I know that’s easier said than done, but making small additions like these into your schedule can add more time for you to relax and reset, and have a good time throughout the busy semester!

Be patient and kind to yourself in the process when working on time management and reaching your goals. Not everything will be perfect and that’s okay! Keep at it and have a great semester!

Author: Elia Azazel Wee

A quick google search on what can help you save money on your housing expenses will give you answers that ask a lot of time, effort, and money for you to do it. Although those methods do help you save energy and money, this blog post is a compilation of advice that only requires you to alter your behaviors and methods for tasks we already do on a weekly basis.

Unplug When Not In Use

You might have already heard of this one before and hopefully, this blog post can be the one to encourage you to make this part of your daily routine! Unplugging is the easiest method for saving money. One thing that always me unmotivated to do this was that I didn't want to unplug everything in my house, but unplugging when you can and for the devices that take up a lot of power still helps a lot!

Some electronic devices continuously use a lot of power even when you turn them “off”, and they usually have a light or display that shows that they are on standby. Some examples of these devices are computers, printers and scanners, video game devices, and devices with a remote control.

Unplugging other devices saves energy, but requires a lot of unplugging and re-plugging. Power strips are an easy way to avoid this hassle because when you turn off the power strip, the devices are actually off and not using power.

Change How You Do Laundry

When you wash your clothes in hot water, it requires a lot of energy to heat up the water. As an alternative, you can wash your clothes in cold or warm water! Before I started washing my clothes on the cold water setting I was really hesitant and worried, but modern washing machines are designed to effectively use cold water to remove stains, and they even make cold water detergents!

However, there are times when it is better to use warm or hot water such as washing things to prevent germs (like if someone is sick), during the winter when the water temperature is too low, or when fabrics are specifically marked on the tag for warm or hot water.

Similar to the washing machine, use a lower heat setting when trying to save money and energy. You can also hang dry clothes! I hang dry clothes outside in the sun, on the bar for my shower curtain, or the bar for my window curtains! Lastly, cleaning the lint filter and the dryer’s vent will increase the dryer’s air circulation, help your load dry faster, and prevent any mechanical issues. Frugally Blonde shows how to properly clean your dryer vents with a vacuum and lint remover!

Alter Your Fridge Temperature

One time my almond milk froze in the fridge! Looking at the temperature your fridge is set to and set it to the proper temperature will help you save money year-round! The fresh food area of your fridge can be set to 36-40 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer 0 to –5 degrees Fahrenheit. For more information on fridge temperature, you can read the FDA’s page on food storage safety.

Use Your Dishwasher

Personally, I always thought dishwashers wasted a lot of energy, but they can actually save money and water if used properly. Make sure you pack your dishwasher with as many items that can fit in that way you don’t use the dishwasher too often.

Air dry your dishes instead of using the heat dry feature on your dishwasher. As mentioned earlier, it takes a lot of energy to heat things up so air drying is a better alternative.

Did you know that you can also save money by running the dishwasher after 7 PM to avoid using energy during peak hours when there is a high demand for energy? I did not know this was a thing! And this applies to using the dryer and washing machine too!

Faster Cooking

Let frozen food thaw on your countertop for 1-2 hours before cooking, or place it in the fridge to thaw overnight! But do not refreeze any food that has been left outside of the refrigerator for longer than 2 hours! Giving your food time to thaw before cooking means that you will need less time and less energy to heat up the food! I actually wrote another Basic Needs Blogpost solely on Freezing Food that you can read afterward!

Use lids when you’re cooking! Honestly, I never use my lids, but now I’ve been convinced to utilize them. Lids keep the heat inside the pot/pan which will reduce the amount of energy and time you spend cooking!

Unblock Heating/Cooling Vents

The last tip is a quick one. When furniture blocks your heating/cooling vents, you block the air from circulating, and your heating/cooling system will actually use more energy in an attempt to change the temperature of that area. So not only is that area not being heated/cooled down, but it’s using a lot of energy and money.

I hope this blogpost helps you find more ways to conserve energy and save you money! Other ways to save money is by using some of the free student resources we have here at Basic Needs! Find out how you can get free foodhousing assistance, and economic support such as The Basic Needs Emergency Funds, and check out the Basic Needs website!

For more ways to reduce your electric bill, check out these articles:

Author: Elia Azazel Wee

I’ve had two sets of roommates in my life; one group was really difficult for me to communicate with and we engaged in constant passive aggressiveness, and the other I was more comfortable bringing up issues I had around the house. So what was different? Why was it easier for me to be honest and engage in conflict resolution with this set of roommates?

Having a good relationship with your roommates is important to your mental and physical health and the overall functionality of the household. There is a lot of roommate advice out there, but in this blog post, I highlight what I’ve learned and things I am still working on.

Healthy communication is essential when you have roommates, which seems like it should be “common sense” and yet is difficult to actually do. I often found myself passive aggressively trying to hint at problems or making snide comments instead of actually addressing the problem. Additionally, I was too afraid to confront issues privately with them. This was mentally tiring, and in the end, did not make any changes around the household. I’ve learned to remind myself that (1) they cannot read my mind and will not know if something is wrong if I do not clearly communicate that to them; and (2) they live in the same home as me so they will naturally want a happy, functioning home environment too.

Having House Meetings may seem too formal at first, but they’re just casual conversations and check-ins with each other. There are different ways to hold house meetings: designate it to be a specific day of each month, tell everyone you want to hold a meeting when something comes up, or whatever the preference is for you and your household.

In these house meetings, I suggest writing a contract, discussing everyone’s boundaries, and making a chore list. Contracts typically include house rules such as:

  • When can we start being loud in the mornings?
  • What items can everyone use? What items do we need to ask permission to use?
  • How long and how often can we have guests over?
  • Let everyone know when you plan on using the bathroom for a long time

It is important to make that contract written digitally or on paper so that no one forgets what they agreed to.

Boundaries are important to establish in any relationship you have. And sometimes boundaries change over time, and it’s okay to bring it up in a later conversation with your housemates. For example, let your housemates know the best way to communicate with you, when you need your space and alone time, and if there are any words or behaviors that make you uncomfortable.

A chore list is truly the best thing to ever happen to me. I am less stressed about when the trash is being thrown out or feeling like I’m the only one cleaning. We discussed what chores we thought were necessary and how often each needs to be done. Then everyone chose which chore they preferred. Chore lists work best if you keep each other accountable. If one of my housemates forgot to do their chores or the dirt is beginning to pile up, we kindly remind them through their preferred method. Some want a text message, some want a sticky note, and some want a verbal reminder.

When you want to bring up something in a house meeting or in a private conversation use “I” statements. By doing this you are expressing how you feel instead of putting blame on your housemate. For example, in one house meeting, I’ve told my housemates “I feel really frustrated by the amount of dirty dishes we have because even though I wash dishes, sometimes there aren’t any clean ones for me to use. I’d really like to talk about this and come up with some solutions together.” The solution we agreed upon: the sink can only be ¾ filled with dishes and to text a reminder in the group chat.

That was a lot of information but here are the key takeaway points:

  • Speak in “I” statements
  • Write a Contract
  • Have House Meetings
  • Chore List + Accountability
  • Be Clear, Honest and Solution Oriented

If you’re currently unhoused or at risk for losing your housing, check out our housing resource PATHS. Providing Assistance to Housing Solutions (PATHS) will help you towards stable housing by giving you assistance, guidance, and support. Additionally, there are multiple ways for getting free food and economic support such as The Basic Needs Emergency Funds.

More in depth advice about communicating with your housemates can be found here:

Author: KC Agramon

Sitting behind a desk for more than 2 hours can be exhausting. Zoom fatigue is real, and sometimes all you need is fresh air and great scenery to gain that momentum of doing your schoolwork. Before COVID, I did most of my homework at the library. Now that, that isn’t an option I had to find creative ways to get my homework done. Having access to WiFi is a basic need that every student should have. Without WiFi, it can be harder to access assignments and take zoom calls. 

Finding the right place to do homework could be challenging, and for students who are experiencing housing insecurity, it can feel impossible. When COVID started, I created a workspace near my window where I feel like I could get most of my work done. This worked for a few weeks, but suddenly I found myself sitting behind my desk all day. Self-care is important to me and I decided to listen to how I felt; I knew there has to be a better way! Because of this, I had to find other ways. For me, getting my work done outside my home was self-care, for students who are living in their vehicles or couch-surfing it can be the only option. Here are some life hacks on how to access free WiFi around SF; while keeping the social distance guidelines. 

San Francisco has free wireless internet access for everyone. WiFi services vary depending on selected areas and parks throughout San Francisco. When you want to connect to the WiFi network all you need to click on the “#SFWiFi” and further instructions will be given. Locations that provide Free Wi-Fi varies around the city. Some places that I go and do my homework at are the Marina green, Mission Dolores Park, Hamilton rec center, etc. Another option for students who do not have a stable and safe place to engage with their schoolwork online is to book a room reservation at the SFSU library

Now, here are some guides on how to use public WIFI in a safe and secure way. So, what does secured, and unsecured networks mean? Open network lets you log on without authentication details. This means all you have to do is click connect; I advise you to refrain from this option or use it for a short time. The other WiFi network requires you to enter information such as phone numbers or email addresses. An example of this could be a needed username and password before getting WiFi access. 

Here are some ways to be safe while using public WiFi: 

  • Stay away from using internet banking, online shopping, or anything involves financial data. 
  • Stay in secure websites 
  • Use VPN
  • Make sure your firewall is on and updated 

Finding creative ways to do homework can be difficult. Remember to listen to yourself and take breaks when you need to. Looking for WiFi access can be hard; I hope this blog gave you options for a new space to do homework or a new place to take a break. Keep in mind that you should still be cautious while using secure or insecure WiFi! 

SF State Resources

Author: KC Agramon

Let’s talk about Food+Shelter+Success (FFS). This is a program that is accessible to students who are currently enrolled at San Francisco State University (SFSU). We help students who are currently facing food and housing insecurity. Now, as students, we have this stigma that these resources should be used for those who are “really” struggling. We start to question if we’re taking away from other students who truly needs the extra help. However, this issue is far from the truth. As students, we pay tuition for classes and the resources offered by the institution. This includes AS Gator GroceriesCalFresh Help ClinicBasic Needs Emergency Funds and etc.

An example of this issue was when a friend of mine was hesitant to sign up for CalFresh. She worked outside of school, a full-time student, and needed help paying for groceries. CalFresh is a government program where depending on your income and living situation you could get up to $204 free money for groceries. Now when I asked her what’s stopping her from signing up for the program, she said that she thought the program was for people who “really” needed it. Then, I added to the conversation that the program actually decides if you are qualified or not. So, if you are qualified, you’ll get some money from the government based on your financial situation. And if you are not approved, at least, you tried and knew that you weren’t able to qualify.

Now if you don’t qualify for this program, SF State has other programs that could help you with getting fresh produce. AS Gator Groceries for example is open every Wednesday and Thursday from 11 am to 1 pm. All you have to do is sign a health badge beforehand regarding COVID precautions and you’re all set to go to the Cezar Chavez building on campus to pick up a box of fresh produce!  

Lastly, if you are facing a financial crisis and in need of extra cash for food, rent, or any other financial responsibilities you may have, you could use the Basic Needs Emergency Fund. This is a one-time fund given by the Basic Needs department depending on your current situation. All you have to do is sign up and answer a few of these questions.

There are so many more resources FFS offers! All you have to do is reach out and ask questions. No matter what your situation is, we are here to listen and help. There is no harm in seeing if you qualify for these programs. So I say DO IT and see if you do!  Learn more about campus resources!

Guest Author: Mauriene B. Hilario

Have you heard of CalFresh, or thought about applying but weren't sure where to start? Well, you have come to the right place!

First, let’s tackle what CalFresh is, and common myths to help you gain a better understanding of this program.

  • What is CalFresh? CalFresh is a government program that gives qualified applicants free grocery month each month! The money is loaded onto an EBT card, which functions like a debit card.
  • Who can apply? There are some basic eligibility requirements including residency status and income. And if you are a student, between the age of 18-49, enrolled in 6 or more units, you must also meet one student exemption to qualify.
  • Does it impact my taxes? One common myth around CalFresh is if you receive CalFresh benefits, you have to report it on your tax return. This is false! You do not have to report it on your tax return. To learn more common CalFresh myths, check out our CalFresh: Fact or Fiction video.

Next, let’s hear about some CalFresh tips and inside scoops from our current CalFresh Assisters.

Justin M. - What is one tip you can give to students interested in applying for CalFresh?

One tip I have is to utilize the resources that Health Promotion and Wellness offers at SF State such as the CalFresh Help Clinic, where you can learn more about the program, get assistance with filling out the application, and get answers to any questions you may have via email or through a virtual appointment.

How has COVID temporarily expanded CalFresh access for students? During COVID, two additional student exemptions have increased CalFresh eligibility, Work-Study eligibility, or an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 on your FAFSA

Victoria H. - What is one tip you can give to students interested in applying for CalFresh?

Be mindful that they must meet at least ONE exemption to be eligible as a student according to CalFresh. Here is the list of the most common student exemptions!

  • Enrolled in EOP, GSP, or MESA
  • Approved for Work-Study
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 on FAFSA
  • Cal Grant A or B (TANF-funded)
  • Work 20+ hours/week on average
  • Have a child under the age of 12

What kind of appointments does the CalFresh Help Clinic offer?

  • Application Assistance/Consultation Appointment: Students can expect to complete a short pre-screen form to determine if they are likely eligible for CalFresh and the CalFresh Assister/Navigator will walk through the CalFresh application with the student to ensure that they are filling out the form correctly.
  • Post-Application Assistance Appointment: For this appointment, it depends on the student, but one could expect to have any questions or concerns that they may have about the next steps, including how to submit verification documents or what to expect from the interview. Additionally, students who are already receiving CalFresh may get support with their recertifications to help make sure their benefits continue.

To learn more about CalFresh application tips, feel free to check out our CalFresh Assisters’ Health Tip Tuesday video.

Now that you have a much better understanding of CalFresh, follow these steps to get started:

As always, if you have any questions about the CalFresh process, feel free to reach out to

Thank you for stopping by! And we hope this blog helps you with your CalFresh Application.

2022-23 Blog Authors

Cindy Chu

Cindy Chu

Hii everyone I’m Cindy (she/her) majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology. Aside from contemplating my future, I enjoy cooking, finding new places to eat (!!), hiking, playing tennis, and staying in watching Netflix. I also have a fluffy standard poodle who loves dismantling tennis balls. His name is Fluffy. I adore him very much. Looking forward to being one of the F+S+S blog authors this year!

Raine Yenlinn

Raine Yenlinn

Hello! I’m Raine (she/her) and this is my first year at SFSU! I recently transferred from Las Positas College, initially pursuing Global Studies, but decided to do a little switch to Environmental Studies (nothing like a major change halfway through) because new city obviously means new major. I was born in Singapore, but grew up in the Bay Area and have since moved further inland towards Central Valley. Since COVID started, I’ve come to enjoy and fully appreciate just being in my own space — I’m most in my element when I’m napping in bed with my dog. That said, I do love ceramics, thrifting, going to the movies (just for the vibes), eating good food (send me the best Singaporean restaurants in the area please!), and exploring new places!

2021-22 Blog Authors


Nazareth Bereket

Hey everyone! My name is Nazareth (she/her), and I'm a 4th year at SF state. I'm a Public health major and minoring in Women's health. My interests include binge watching tv shows like The 100 or Manifest, trying new foods/drinks/snacks, finding new places to explore where I live, and singing. I’m so excited to be joining this blog for the year, and I can’t wait to share my thoughts and ideas with you!

Janaveve Solis

Janaveve Solis

Hi! I'm Janaveve Solis (she/her). I am a Nutrition and Dietetics major with a minor in Holistic Health. I consider myself an introvert, but I truly enjoy getting to know other people when I have the opportunity. I love finding different ways to express and practice my creativity through activities like crocheting, painting (on rare occasions), doing makeup, and cooking. I love food and trying new foods! Other times, I like to connect with myself and the world around me by meditating, exploring new places with family and friends, listening to music, and being in nature. I am very passionate about health and wellness, and I look forward to contributing to the well-being of others from diverse backgrounds.

2020-21 Blog Authors

Elia Azazel

Elia Azazel

Hello, I’m Elia Azazel! I am a Child & Adolescence Development major and one of the F+S+S assistants! I am a consumer of many types of media such as video games, comics, tv shows, podcasts, films, and anything horror. Some of my favorite things are Batman V Superman (the director’s cut of course) and The Magnus Archives podcast.

Yazmin Hernandez Luna

Yazmin Hernandez Luna

Ciao! I'm Yazmin Hernandez Luna, born and raised in Los Angeles California, and a first-generation college student whose major is in Public Health. I am a very introverted person but, once I get comfortable, the goofy side and very sarcastic me come to life. When I am not in school, I love to do activities like painting, reading books, learning a new language, and participating in outdoor activities.  At a young age, I was always taught that I should always lend a helping hand to others and this lesson motivated me into creating beautiful and informational content that may inspire and help other SFSU students in achieving their goals.

KC Agramon

KC Agramon

Hey! I’m KC Agramon. I’m a junior, majoring in Public Health. I’m an adventurer; I love exploring the city as well as finding parks in SF to have picnics in or read books at. I love running before the sun comes out in the morning to start off my day. I think the best way to end my day is to watch the sunset or to go biking before the sun comes down!

isis fields

Isis Fields

Hi! I'm Isis Fields. I am a fourth-year public health student. I enjoy riding my bike and exploring all over the Bay Area. I appreciate attending art conventions and events of all kinds. A few of my favorite ways to express myself are through painting and dancing. I am constantly inspired by Frida Kahlo and samba, bossa nova music. I'm motivated to grow and learn with others through shared experiences and use that to shape my community-oriented career. I look forward to expanding my academic limits and meeting people from different backgrounds.