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Food and Related Resources for Graduate Students

Please also visit GSC Food Resources for additional information.

Brown Resources

  • Emergency Funding (including Meal Gap). Students experiencing acute food need can apply for support through Emergency E-Gap Funding. For students in residence in Providence, credits for on-campus meals through the Meal Gap program may be provided for short-term immediate needs for students with food insecurity (up to one meal a day for 1 or 2 weeks through Dining Services, or as a Meal Book with approximately 10 meals over a number of weeks).

    The process is managed through UFunds and is listed as “Graduate School COVID-19 Fall E-Gap Fund” under “Graduate School COVID-19 Fund.” The application takes 10 minutes, and students should receive a response in 2-3 days. Funding is limited but is open through the semester. 
  • GSC-Sponsored Monthly Produce. Applications are now closed. For Fall 2020, with co-sponsorship from the Graduate School, the GSC partnered with Produce in the Park to supply fresh, locally sourced produce for those who are facing food insecurity. Produce is picked up from Wickenden Street in Fox Point. 
  • Brown Meal Plan. Students can add a meal plan at any point in the semester. Dining Services offers a number of meal plans. The most affordable option is buying 35 meals for $976 (including $375 in ‘flex points’ and 2 guest meals that can be used also by the meal plan holder). With flex points and guest meals, this averages about $11.40/meal. Note that cancelling a plan costs $50. Plans are also available during breaks. Please consult the Dining Services website for current information and FAQs. 
  • Brown Food Pantry. Chaplain’s Office, 4th Floor Page-Robinson Hall. Due to COVID-19, this location is currently not open.
  • BrownU App. Opt-In Channel on Free Food: a daily message listing free food events at Brown. Due to COVID-19, there are currently no food events on campus. 

Local Options

  • Project Hand Up. This program helps working people and those who receive a monthly check to shop for groceries, toiletries, and over-the-counter medication. During COVID-19, they are doing curbside pick-up of 3 bags of pre packaged groceries for $6 (1 bag of non perishable food, bread & pastry, 1 bag of fruits & veggies, & 1 bag of frozen, dairy & meat if they have it). Located in West Warwick, open 2:30-5:30 pm on: Tuesdays for last names beginning with A-K, Wednesdays for 55 and older, and Thursdays for last names beginning with L-Z. Please visit their Facebook page for updates.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP). Students who may be eligible include parents and non-stipended students who are also working for pay at least 20 hours per week and are under the income limits. Many other graduate students are likely not eligible, as students enrolled at least half-time at an institution of higher education are ineligible for SNAP, unless they meet one of the exceptions. Some helpful links here on How to Apply

Local Food Pantries & Community Food Resources 

  • All active food pantries: or Find a Food Pantry near you (Rhode Island Food Bank). Check during COVID-19 for more information. Pantries on the East Side, Providence include:
    • Camp Street Ministries Pantry. 190 1/2 Camp Street, Providence, RI 02906. (401) 302-3973. Providence residents; Guests can visit weekly; Handicapped Accessible
    • First Unitarian Church Pantry. 1 Benevolent Street , Providence RI 02906. (401) 457-7149 Handicapped Accessible.
    • Our Lady of the Rosary Pantry. 17 Traverse Street, Providence, RI 02903 (401) 453-0174. Serves guests monthly.
    • JCS-Louis and Goldie Chester Full Plate Kosher Pantry. 1165 North Main Street, 1st Floor. Providence, RI  02904. (401) 621-5374. Pantry is for guests who require kosher diets; guests can visit 2x/month; street parking; Handicapped Accessible
  • Refri-PVD: Refri is a community resource for anyone facing food insecurity. It is filled by local farmers, food organizations, and individuals. It is located at 705 Westminster Street, Providence, RI, outside of New Urban Arts.

Accessing Affordable Food Options

  • On Call Shuttle: The On-Call Shuttle will do pick-ups and drop-offs at a number of food and grocery stores, including East Side Marketplace, Stop & Shop, and Walmart. See coverage map.

Financial Options

  • Emergency Funding. Students experiencing urgent financial need can apply for support through Emergency E-Gap Funding. The process is managed through UFunds and is listed as “Graduate School COVID-19 Fall E-Gap Fund” under “Graduate School COVID-19 Fund.” 

Additional Resources