Student Food and Housing Insecurity

One student who has struggled to afford meals framed the issue like this: “As you can imagine, coming to class hungry can be a huge distraction – even a deterrent.”

Through the Charleston YOUth Count, a large-survey (2,200 responses), the College’s Riley Center estimates that 30% of College of Charleston are housing insecure and 30% are also food insecure (half of these, or 15%, of the total are very food insecure). In real numbers, this translates to approximately 3,400 students who are housing insecure and 1,700 who are very food insecure.

Student Food Pantry Opens on Campus:

Homeless and hungry at America's most beautiful College:

Current Programs

Cougar Pantry

  • Location: Cougar Pantry is in Stern, 2nd floor
  • For access please go to the Stern 1st floor front desk, and ask for access to the Pantry.

Christine Workman is the current contact.

1. Excess Food Distribution

The Division of Student Affairs, Aramark, and the Student Government Association have developed a program to distribute the excess food from on-campus, catered events. This program strives to address provide free food to CofC students, while also contributing to a more sustainable campus by minimizing food waste. 


Interested students should Join Excess Food Distribution Group: 

 · To Join

Go to : CougarConnect
with your College Email and Password
Click on Organizations on top row
Search Excess Food
Click BLUE JOIN Button

You are now a member of the Excess Food Distribution Group and you will receive an email message notifying you when excess food is available, location, and time frame! A message with the location and time where program participants can pick up food is sent on the day of the event. Be on the lookout for notification of pop up events as well!

Program guidelines for students:

    • Food is provided on a first come, first serve basis
    • Food must be eaten at the location at which it is served - students may not take food to go
    • Students must arrive within the time frame designated in the message 

2. Swipe Away Hunger

CofC’s Student Alumni Associates (SAA) host a one-week “Swipe Away Student Hunger” campaign at the end of each semester to collect meal swipes and Dining Dollars from students in order to provide short-term meal plans for students facing food insecurity. 

At the end of fall semester, students with meal plans donate meal swipes in addition to any amount of unused “Dining Dollars” left in their account to the campaign. In the spring semester, they may donate only unused “Dining Dollars” because meal swipes cannot carry over from fiscal year to fiscal year. 

3. Food Assistance

  1. Compete online application at 
  2. In person interview from staff within the Dean of Students office

4. Temporary Housing Assistance

  1. Compete online application at 
  2. In person interview from staff within the Dean of Students office

5. Other Resources

Community Resource Guide