Basic Needs

Basic Needs refers to the food, housing and overall wellness security of our community. Having one’s basic needs met has a direct impact on the academic performance, mental health, physical health, professional development and holistic wellbeing of our students.


The CSUMB Basic Needs Initiative endeavors to support students to be successful by ensuring their basic needs are met through resources, access and advocacy.

If you know of anyone that would benefit from more access to resources, please complete our Basic Needs referral form.

basic needs initiative @ CSUMB

Emergency Community Resources:

Due to COVID-19 and the current "shelter in place" order for Monterey County, the Student Center and the Hub are currently closed. Below are some community resources that are available to students. Please continue to check this page as information and resources are continually being updated.

The Hub

The Hub Services:

  • Case Management (1:1 consultations)
  • CalFresh Application Assistance
  • Otter Eats Text Enrollment

The Hub Resources:

  • Starbuck's Perishables
  • Non-Perishables (e.g. canned goods, dried beans, rice, pasta, etc.)
  • Food Vouchers

The Basic Needs Hub serves as a space for students to connect with resources to assist them with meeting their basic needs and to empower them to be successful, connected members of the student body and community at large. These resources focus on removing barriers to student success, particularly those related to food or housing insecurity, financial concerns, and emotional well-being.

The Hub

Contact Basic Needs

Phone: 831-582-4081

Email: Send an email

Building: Student Center, Building 12

Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Virtual office hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Schedule a Time

Meet the Team



Joanna Snawder-Manzo

Care Manager

Favorite Dish to Cook: Enchilada casserole! 

Self Care Activity: Walking the dog, running, listening to music, podcasts, cooking, reading, writing 

Why Basic Needs?: When I joined the CSUMB community in December of 2015, I became quickly aware of what the barriers for so many of our students are: having their basic needs met. A lack of wellness security permeates all aspects of existence. We are no longer in an era where the narrative of a "starving college student" can be laughed off as a rite of passage. Our students are in need and it is our duty to support them. I repeatedly observe how the additional resources and support can make the difference in the persistence of our students and the actual goal, which is student success. Over the years we have worked hard to build up the resources in this critical area and am thrilled to see where we are now!


Ashley Ramsden

Basic Needs Coordinator

Favorite Dish to Cook: anything with cheese! 

Self Care Activity: talking with friends and working out 

Why Basic Needs: I have long believed that access to education is a life-changing opportunity and one that should be available to anyone, regardless of background, identity, or family status. I am so happy to be able to work with students to make sure their basic wellness security needs are met and to remove those barriers that may prevent them from obtaining their goal of higher education.


Sabrina Lee

Interim Basic Needs Coordinator

Favorite Dish to Cook: Anything within the Asian cuisine!

Self Care Activity: Singing or working out! 

Why Basic Needs?: From working in the cafeteria in elementary to get free meals, to starving in middle school due to unaffordable lunches, to skipping lunch in high school, food insecurity has always been close to my heart and a humbling reminder that change needs to be made. With this position, I’ve had the pleasure to help students meet their needs and physical/mental wellbeing and break out of the negative stigma of being on welfare. My only goal is to continue helping folks in my future occupation to thrive and not just survive!

Basic Needs Student Team

Bianca Estrada

Master of Social Work Intern

Favorite Dish to Cook: Spaghetti 

Self Care Activity: Caring for Indoor Plants.

Why Basic Needs: In the past few years, I have encountered many hardships while pursuing higher education. I learned to ask for help in the process, and I am grateful for the support I have received from the Basic Needs staff. In addition, my passion for student's sense of belonging on-campus and ensuring students' basic needs are being met as a whole inspired me to become a part of the team. I've learned the power of advocacy and its empowerment to students in the campus community. Therefore, I am committed to providing ongoing support to the Basic Needs mission. As a future social worker, my goal is to help build strong communities to practice inclusivity regardless of socioeconomic level, race, ethnicity, or gender identity.

Mad Bolander

Basic Needs Student Assistant 
Favorite Dish to Cook: Paneer Tikka Masala 
Self Care Activity: Hiking with a good book
Why Basic Needs: It is my highest goal in life to offer advocation and kindness to all.

Misha Arnold

Collaborative Health and Human Services Intern

Favorite Dish to Cook: Pasta with homemade tomato sauce and lots of veggies!

Self Care Activity: I spend the daylight hours working and being productive. When the sun goes down, I do enjoyable activities such as cooking, creating art projects, playing games, or watching funny movies. Separating these two parts of the day helps me maintain a healthy balance in my life.

Why Basic Needs: Students are some of the most creative, hardworking, and innovative members of society. I believe that maintaining health and wellbeing is essential when pursuing higher education. All students deserve nutritious food to fuel their brains, a safe living environment, and a compassionate support system. Basic Needs goes beyond simply introducing students to social services. We create relationships in which students feel valued, respected, and supported. CSUMB is blessed with a diverse student body that has a variety of dietary needs. I am deeply passionate about plant-based living and have the wonderful opportunity to incorporate aspects of this lifestyle into our programs. I am excited to help provide our diverse community with nutritional support so we can all have a successful learning experience.

Molly Leach

Basic Needs Student Assistant

Favorite Dish to Cook: Anything for breakfast

Self Care Activity: Cleaning and organizing my space
Why Basic Needs: I wanted to get involved with the on campus community after missing time due to the pandemic and I wanted to do something that would directly benefit other students.