CSUN with A HEART Helps Support Students’ Basic Needs

  • Four workers are the CSUN Food Pantry stand in a line, hoping bags with food in them

    The CSUN Food Pantry, which provides emergency nourishment and basic necessities at no cost for CSUN students, faculty and staff, is one of the resources CSUN with A HEART features. Photo by David J. Hawkins

CSUN is committed to giving its students the resources they need to overcome barriers to a quality education. For some college students, those obstacles include food insecurity, financial and housing instability, mental well-being and other challenges that prevent them from focusing on their studies.

To help Matadors find the resources they need, the Division of Student Affairs launched CSUN with A HEART (Addressing Hunger/Homeless and Emergency needs with Assistance and Resources Together) in 2019, a webpage that serves as a central hub connecting students, faculty and staff with a multitude of on- and off-campus or community services.

Among the resources found on the CSUN with A HEART page are:


  • CalFresh Retail Program — a county-run federal program that provides monthly food stipends to households in need, via EBT cards.
  • The CSUN Food Pantry — emergency nourishment and basic necessities at no cost for CSUN students.
  • CSUN Lactation Spaces —  private areas for lactating faculty, staff and students to safely express their milk.
  • CSUN Dining — convenient snacks, coffeehouses and reasonably priced meals throughout campus that can be purchased with EBT cards.


  • CSUN Housing Instability Project — assistance for CSUN students experiencing housing instability.
  • CSUN Student Housing — dorm rooms where students can apply to live during their time at CSUN.
  • CSUN Temporary Housing program — temporary housing at no cost to eligible CSUN students.


  • The MataCare Grant — for students with unexpected, urgent financial needs.
  • The Student Veteran Emergency Relief Fund — for CSUN student veterans experiencing financial hardships.
  • Affordable Learning $olutions — an initiative by the CSU Chancellor’s office to promote the use of low- or no-cost course materials to reduce the financial burden on students.


  • University Counseling Services — mental health services for students
  • The Klotz Student Health Center — quality healthcare in an inclusive, comfortable and compassionate environment.
  • Oasis Wellness Center — where CSUN students can relax, catch a nap and focus on managing stress.


  • The CSUN EOP DREAM Center — a resource center for undocumented students and allies.
  • Matty’s Closet — provides students with one free professional outfit a semester.
  • The Pride Center — a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community, including students and allies.

“We want to be able to provide resources to our students and make sure they can access these resources,” said Maria Elizondo, coordinator of volunteer and community engagement, based out of the Matador Involvement Center.

A 2019 study published by The Hope Center in Pennsylvania found that 45 percent of college students who responded to their survey had experienced food insecurity within the past 30 days, and 56 percent had reported experiencing housing insecurity over the prior year.

“We’re looking forward to doing significantly more work,” Elizondo said, adding that the webpage will be continually updated and expanded with additional resources to ensure it is as thorough as possible.

Visitors are also invited to recommend resources, volunteer for organizations and donate to CSUN with A HEART.

“Our basic need resources aim to aid our students in their academic journey toward the ultimate goal of graduation,” Elizondo said. “CSUN with A HEART makes these resources easily accessible to those of us working with students who might find themselves in need.”

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