Food Access Initiatives

In an effort to keep our community as safe as possible during the coronavirus pandemic, our food access initiatives will be operating in a modified capacity.

Students needing assistance with food insecurity should email the Office of Student Success at studentsuccess [at]

Whether you are temporarily in need of food or have a more long-term issue, we are here to help! We are also aware that students, faculty, and staff at Emerson are looking for ways to support their fellow community members. There is a list of ways you can help at the bottom of this page!


Food Pantry

Looking for a few food items to get you through the week? The food pantry, located inside the Office of Student Success, has you covered! There is a variety of shelf-stable food, from grab-and-go options to items you can bring home and cook. You’ll also find a variety of personal care items such as shampoo, toothpaste, and soap. Everything is free! There is no application, but the food pantry operates on an honor system: take what you will use if you are in need, and give back at some point if you are able!

The Student Success food pantry is open again for walk-in visits! Our office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (closed 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.).

Important notes for pantry visitors:

  1. Social distancing and face coverings are required while in the pantry.
  2. Please use hand sanitizer before touching items on the shelves.
  3. Please do your best not to leave items behind that you have touched. We understand you may need to read ingredient labels, etc, and that is of course fine, we just need to reduce the odds of multiple people touching the same item wherever we can. 
  4. Students who utilize the pantry will receive outreach from our office offering additional support. You are not in any way obligated to respond! We just want to make sure you are aware of all options available to you. 

We want to do our best to provide what you need. If you have suggestions for future food or personal care item purchases for our stock, please feel free to tell us! You can email suggestions to studentsuccess [at]!

Food Cam

Located on the 4th floor of Ansin, the Emerson College Food Cam is a food donation and pick-up hub for the Emerson community. Follow the Food Cam on Instagram, Twitter, and Slack @EmersonFoodCam to find out when food is available for pick up.

Donation guidelines

  1. Wash hands thoroughly before handling food.
  2. Only donate food that you would consider appetizing and/or give to a friend or colleague.
  3. Do not donate food that has been sitting out for more than 2 hours (USDA guidelines).
  4. Compost unsafe/inedible food in the compost bin to the left.

Food for Thought Program

The Food for Thought Program provides all undergraduate students the opportunity to take a faculty member out for a meal to discuss classwork, academic interests, or just to get to know each other better! Simply walk in to the Dining Center and tell the cashier that you are treating your professor to a meal with your free swipe from the program. You and your faculty guest will be asked to swipe your I.D., but neither of you will be charged. This program is open to all undergraduate students, regardless of whether or not they have an active meal plan, and can be used once per semester.

Off-Campus Student Support

All off-campus students are given 1 free meal at the Dining Center each semester on their Emerson ID card. Make sure to use yours! Additionally, the Greater Boston Food Bank has an excellent resource to help you to find food assistance in or near your neighborhood. Please visit for more information.

Student Assistance Fund

The Student Assistance Fund is here to help eligible students who demonstrate financial need with funds for grocery store gift cards, free meal swipes at the Dining Center, or a meal plan. studentsuccess [at] (Contact the Office of Student Success) to learn more about applying and other ways the Student Assistance Fund may be able to help you.

How to Help

There are plenty of ways for students, faculty, and staff to support our Food Access Initiatives. Here are some suggestions:

  • Donate a Meal Swipe: Students with meal plans can choose to donate one guest swipe per semester to the free meal swipe program.Swipes can only be donated during a designated week early in the semester. Look for the donation table at the Dining Center!
  • Donate: The food pantry in the Office of Student Success could always use a little help! Simply bring any shelf-stable food items, unopened personal care items, or new seasonal clothing items (gloves, hats, etc.) to our office during regular business hours. Additionally, faculty and staff donations to the Student Assistance Fund are always greatly appreciated. To learn more about how you can help students in financial need access food, resources, and more, please visit the donation page.
  • Drop off food at the Emerson College Food Cam: Do you have leftover food from an event? Bring it to the Food Cam on the 1st floor of the Piano Row Campus Center. Here's how to donate:
    1. Set food in the middle of camera frame.
    2. Press button to post picture of food to social media.
    3. Feel good about preventing food waste & feeding friends.