Often times, students feel the impact of financial stress, which can impede on overall happiness and the ability to be their best. When you have the cost of tuition, daily expenses, and rent, and then add a pandemic to an already overloaded Badger, anxiety can heighten, especially around the cost of food, and where to find the next meal.
UW-Madison offers a variety of support services for those who could benefit from assistance. Resources are available at no cost to all students, and there is no requirement to prove need or affiliation with the groups below.
Please see the list below to find the support you deserve.
Badger FARE (Food Assistance Resources for Emergencies)
The Badger FARE Program was created to connect students who are dealing with temporary, emergency food insecurity by providing them with immediate funds on their Wiscards that they can use to purchase food on campus. The program is administered by the Dean of Students Office in collaboration with the Division of Continuing Studies.
Students must be enrolled in the current term or enrolled for an upcoming academic term if between semesters. Students must have some circumstance related to food insecurity or an unexpected life event.
Funds are provided to students only once in an academic year in the amount of $75 via their Wiscard.
Dean of Students Office
The Dean of Students Office provides individualized assistance to students facing food insecurity, including information about campus and community resources and crisis loans/grants. Students are encouraged to reach out by drop-in appointment, by phone at 608.263.5700, or by email to email@example.com.
FH King – Harvest Handouts
Harvest Handouts through F.H. King Students for Sustainable Agriculture, a student organization that offers free, fresh produce to students. The group connects students with the land they live on and the food they eat. On Sundays, student org members are found handing out fresh, organic produce — grown by themselves, harvested that morning every week — completely free of cost to fellow students and community members. Read more about the organization.
Open Seat through Associated Students of Madison (ASM)
The Open Seat supplies any UW-Madison student in need of food assistance with free boxes of food packed and distributed by Second Harvest Foodbank. These boxes come in 10-15 lb sizes. Options vary weekly, but a variety of produce, dairy, and dry goods are typically available.
New hours for Open Seat:
Beginning September 22, the Open Seat will have three locations for pick-up of food. Union South (by the parking circle on the Union Hotel side) from 12-1 pm on Tuesdays, the Eagle Heights (at the picnic table in front of the community center) from 4:30-5:30 pm on Wednesdays, or on East Campus Mall 1:00-2:00 Fridays.
If you are interested in picking up food on TUESDAYS at UNION SOUTH, please fill out this form by 12 pm on Thursdays: https://forms.gle/zQoqMP2Rc6Et4c7j7
If you are interested in picking up food on WEDNESDAYS at EAGLE HEIGHTS, please fill out this form by 12 pm on Fridays: https://forms.gle/MJ5dfGvF1BMMi6uG9
If you are interested in picking up food on FRIDAYS at East Campus Mall, please fill out this form by 12 on Tuesdays: https://forms.gle/c2DWbsfLBC9Sggg99
UW Frozen Meals Program
UW Frozen Meals Program is a partnership between UW Dining, The Crossing, and the Food Recovery Network. This initiative started last year to address both growing food waste and food insecurity on campus: the group packages, freezes, and distributes nutritious recovered meals to students free of charge, distributed each week in The Crossing lobby (with COVID protocols in place). Weekly hours are on Tuesdays from 3-5 p.m. and Fridays from 12-2 p.m.
- UW emergency financial aid information: covid19.wisc.edu/faqs/#c19-faq-financial
- Free meals in Madison during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic (Madison.com)
- During COVID-19, some resources have changed their hours and pick-up schedules. An updated list is available here under ‘Food Resources’ through the Office of Financial Aid: https://financialaid.wisc.edu/basic-needs-resources/
Staff within Student Affairs understand how challenging this time can be for some of our students, and it’s important to note that you’re not alone and resources are available.