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Food Insecurity

It has become increasingly difficult for our students to bear the rising costs of tuition and living expenses while earning a degree and balancing other responsibilities. Many UVA students find themselves having to choose between affording the cost of college and purchasing daily essentials such as food. No student should have to pick between making ends meet and having access to nutritionally adequate and safe food while in college.

Food Insecurity is the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food. In the most extreme form, it is marked by the physical sensations of hunger but more often it can look like:

  • Deciding which meal during the day you can afford to eat;
  • Diet primarily consists of cheaper processed foods like instant noodles;
  • Not getting enough fruit or vegetables due to higher cost of fresh produce;
  • Cutting or stretching the size of meals to make multiples meals out of one meal due to financial constraints.

Beginning in the fall of 2018, The Office of the Dean of Students gathered a collaborative, action oriented, group of students and professional staff to address food insecurity at the University of Virginia. The Food Insecurity Resource Group (FIRG) is dedicated to creating sustainable support for student facing food insecurity by meeting students in the communities that serve them. FIRG exists to provide students with the food based resources and support they need to be successful in a highly demanding environment like The University of Virginia.

If you have questions about any of the resources below or would like to reach out regarding individualized support, please email

On Grounds Resources

UVA Community Food Pantry

Food in the CFP is provided on a first come, first serve basis – the pantry food is provided through generous donations from individuals and departments across Grounds and in the community. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to utilize the UVA Community Food Pantry.

Location: Newcomb Hall, Student Activities Center (Floor 1, Room 140) 
Items Available: Hygiene products (shampoo, soap, sanitary pads and tampons), single-serving soups and pastas, canned vegetables, shelf stable items (rice, pasta, etc.), snacks and periodically fresh produce including fruits and vegetables. Items in the pantry constantly rotating, see website (linked above) for current details.
Hours: Monday-Friday 7AM-11PM, Saturday-Sunday 8AM-11PM

Satellite Food Pantry Network

The Satellite Food Pantry Network is an effort of the Food Insecurity Resource Group to meet students where they are on Grounds and provide basic nutrition and hygiene products at no cost. The network currently includes four locations on Grounds with more locations being added as the program expands. See below for list of satellite locations. Hours are subject to the operation of the building and individual departments that stock the pantry.

Location: School of Engineering (Thornton A121)
Items available: Single-serving soups and pasta, canned meats and vegetables, fresh fruit, frozen single-serving meals, snacks and cereals, sanitary pads, and more.
Hours: Summer 2021 hours due to staff coverage vary and are updated in the SEAS newsletter.

Location: Higher Education Program within the School of Education (Ridley 285) in a filing cabinet labeled "Higher Education Program Pantry"
Items available: Snack items, single serve pasta meals, canned fruit, cheese sticks, single-serve oatmeal, peanut butter. (Meant for short-term support)
Hours: Weekdays 7AM-9PM*

Location: Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center (1400 University Avenue)
Items available: Tuna, noodle bowls, rice, nuts, peanut butter, oatmeal, beans, soups, applesauce, packaged dairy products, and basic hygiene products.
Hours: Open from 10AM-1PM, check WC website for hours and more specifics*

Location: School of Nursing (Claude Moore Nursing Education Building), located at a table next to receptionist's office
Items available: Grab and go meal options, snacks, some fresh items depending on donations and seasonal availability
Hours: Monday-Friday 7AM-6PM*

Community Resources

There are a number of local resources available in the City of Charlottesville (City Resources) and Albemarle County (County Resources). In addition, you may explore resources using a map of food resources here. All information compiled and managed by Cultivate Charlottesville

Cultivate Charlottesville, in partnership with the City of Charlottesville and other groups, launched a new 24/7 phone number you can text to get information about free food sources near you. The number is 844-947-6518.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Provides assistance with food needs for individuals and families. Students working at least 20 hours a week in a federally funded or state work study program are automatically eligible. Apply online using the above link and an individual from Social Services will follow up with information on next steps.

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry

(434) 996-7868
2050 Lambs Road, Charlottesville
*Bus Information: Located closest to Georgetown Road at Hydraulic Road (northbound) stop, CAT Route 5

Loaves & Fishes is providing drive-through food pickup until further notice to help keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please arrive no more than 1 hour before opening. Park where directed and stay in your car. 

Hours: Wednesday, 2:00-4:00 pm, Thursday, 6:30-8:30 pm, Saturday, 10:00-12:00 pm or by appointment (reservations are required) Make an appointment here.

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry is a “client choice” store for people who struggle to provide enough nutritious, healthy food for themselves and their household. Client choice allows anyone who comes to L&F to select from government provided and donated food and choose the best food for their individual needs. L&F provides fresh and frozen foods including fruits, vegetables, breads, frozen meat, fish, and eggs. L&F is able to provide roughly 30 pounds – or 8 days – of nutritious food per person, per visit. L&F can provide individuals with “pantry” (donated, non-USDA) food no more than twice per month.

On your first visit to Loaves & Fishes, please bring the names and birth dates of everyone in your household and total monthly household income. Visit the Loaves & Fishes website for more information.
*Contact the Office of The Dean of Students for more information about transportation to Loaves & Fishes