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Basic Needs

Basic Needs at Otis College

Listed below are resources and services that the College offers to address and provide support for some challenges that many students face, such as food insecurity, housing insecurity, and lack of access to basic needs.

Otis College has prepared a COVID-19 Resource Guide PDF.  This can help students who are in need of assistance with food insecurities, housing insecurities, financial insecurities or other urgent crises.

Otis College established the Feed-A-Need Food Assistance Program in Fall 2017 in order to address food insecurity across campus. Students who apply for the Feed-A-Need program must answer a few questions using an online form, and meet with the Dean of Student Affairs in order to address any other issues the student may be struggling with related to financial insecurity. Students are advised in a holistic manner in order to best support the overall student’s success. Students can apply to receive either 10 or 14 meals a semester, and can only apply once a semester. The online form can be found here.

Since Fall 2017, Otis College issued approximately 900 meals to date!

Are you a student facing food insecurity on campus? You can apply here for Feed-A-Need or visit the Food Pantry on campus at any time.

In Spring 2019, Otis College established its first-ever Food Pantry through a generous donor’s support and the leadership of its Students’ Union (student government). The Food Pantry is an open access model, and students who are enrolled have the ability to use their ID Card to access the Food Pantry at any time for any reason, no questions asked. This is open to any student, with no application requirements. Otis College solicits donations every semester from faculty, staff, students and community members throughout the academic year. Please see the Food Pantry Guidelines for more information about what kinds of donations are accepted.

How to Donate

If you would like to donate to the Food Pantry, drop off any non-perishable items to the Student Life Center, located on the first floor of the new Anne Cole Building (formerly known as the Academic Building). Please check expiration dates before donating. The Food Pantry Guidelines list items you can purchase and donate. Donation forms are available for you to complete upon request, if you want to document for tax purposes. Just ask student staff in the Student Life Center for a donation form.

If any individual is interested in donating a dollar amount, please use this link.

Food Pantry Guidelines

The food pantry is located on the first level of the parking structure. If you have any questions or concerns about the Food Pantry, please contact

When the campus is open, the food pantry is open 24/7 and is accessible to all students with their OneCards.

If you have any additional questions, comments or concerns, or if there is an urgency regarding your access to basic needs, please contact

NOTE: College students became temporarily eligible for expanded SNAP benefits due to theCOVID-19 pandemic. This bill would make that expansion permanent and provide other support for students' basic needs.

Bill text can be found here.

A section-by-section on the bill can be found here.

A one-pager on the bill can be found here.

Started by a former Otis student, Nicole White (BFA Fine Arts, 2010), The Resource Exchange aims to foster sustainable practices and forward thinking stewardship through the recycling and trading of reusable material goods here on campus.

The Resource Exchange is located in the southwest, ground floor corner of the Goldsmith Campus parking structure adjacent to the red gates. Those wishing to make a trade should visit during the hours listed below. Please note that the acceptance of items for trade will be left to the discretion of the on duty technician. Hazardous or toxic items, items with expiration dates, and items that are too large or abundant may be declined. Items that were previously the property of the college will undoubtedly be refused.

Resource Exchange Operating Hours:  TBA

Resource Exchange Guidlines

Please contact the Students’ Union at if you have any questions or concerns

This program is for currently registered students, to assist with purchasing supplies, books and other indirect educational costs needed to be successful at Otis College. Your request will be evaluated based on your demonstrated financial need (FAFSA Expected Family Contribution) or your extenuating circumstances detailed in your application. These are one-time funds that are meant for students facing unexpected situations.

Upon approval, processing time is approximately 3-5 business days.

If you need emergency funding, please contact the One Stop at to apply.

If a student is experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness, we encourage them to reach out to the Director of Residence Life and Housing, Melinda Patton, at, to discuss options and resources. Students may also explore their options by submitting the Emergency Housing Form.

  • Otis College of Art and Design offers counseling services through the Student Health and Wellness Center. Counseling services support students in the form of individual therapy, crisis services, and outreach/programming, as well as consultation to those who are interested in reaching out to a student in distress.
  • Otis College Counseling Services also facilitates connection to other Otis College resources and community providers when indicated. Appointments can be made in-person at the Student Health and Wellness Center (Ahmanson 107), or by calling the Counseling office at 310-846-5738. The counseling center is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 pm. unless otherwise posted.

There is no cost to currently enrolled Otis College students for counseling.

CalFRESH- CalFresh is California's food stamps (SNAP) program. Apply to get up to $192 a month per household member on an EBT card-

Find a Food Bank Near You