A nitro cold brew sells for $5, and a large mocha for $4.50 at a popular coffee and muffin bar in UC Berkeley’s student union. Downstairs, business is just as brisk at another food emporium. The provisions there are free. “I’m low on funds,” shrugged Christopher, a junior, as he stuffed apple juice, a half gallon of milk, a box of peanut butter Puffin cereal and two cans of organic pinto beans and sweet corn — the UC Berkeley Food Pantry’s five-item limit — into his backpack.

Christopher, who asked that his last name not be used, said he depends on the pantry’s donated groceries to make ends meet, especially during emergencies. Someone slashed his tire last week, he said, and now he’s out $110 for a new one. Without the help, he’d have to make a choice: wheels or food. Faced with such choices, students often skip the nutrition. READ MORE