Student Food and Housing Insecurity

For Food or Housing Assistance:

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.


Current Programs

Cougar Pantry


Cougar Pantry takes almost all non-perishable donations and loves stocking up on toiletries and other random unused, unopened,
individually packaged items. Volunteer shifts are two hours long and are a great way to get service hours for internships, classes,
or the community. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Chris Bond ( or Mandi Copeland ( until a new student has been assigned to the Cougar Pantry. 

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

1. Excess Food Distribution Christine Workman is the current contact.
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 provide free food to CofC students, while also contributing
to a more sustainable campus by minimizing food waste.

How to Learn of Excess Food Distribution Times
Interested students should join Excess Food Distribution Group.
To join go to : CougarConnect

  • Sign-in 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, with the 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 next fiscal year. 

3. Food Assistance

4. Temporary Housing Assistance 5. Other Resources Community Resource Guide