Since 2010, UC Berkeley has been implementing short and long term interventions to support student basic needs. The 2016 UC Berkeley Student Experience Survey identified that 39% of Undergraduates and 23% of Graduate Students are "Food Insecure". According to their website, the Food Pantry is a "direct response to the need among the student population to juggle the costs of living with the costs of obtaining a university degree, and thus many students are finding themselves choosing between essentials such as food and the costs of college."
"The UC Berkeley Food Pantry was established in Summer 2014 in order to to provide emergency relief to help students continue on to successfully complete and obtain their degrees from the University of California. It is a part of the campuswide basic needs efforts."
embARC students will gain insight into the designer-client relationship through an examination of the design research process, and will have hands-on engagement with the fabrication component of the Design Build, including metalworking, woodworking and digital fabrication.
Students will be building a series of mobile carts and trailers designed to ease the friction in distribution of food from UC Berkeley's farm and garden spaces to the Food Pantry, increase the visibility and accessibility of the Food Pantry on campus, and empower food insecure students to put together delicious and nutrient-rich meals from the Food Pantry's offerings.
embARC's Design Build will run in tandem with the Sustainable Planning Workshop, which will investigate the context for campus food insecurity, identifying hubs and outliers in the campus food system chain and seeking to understand the larger food justice movement that is taking hold in urban areas across the country.
The embARC program is extremely grateful to the UC Berkeley Basic Needs Committee for a generous grant for materials that will increase the effectiveness of this project exponentially.
Watch the embARC website for updates on the progress of the project!
The 2017 embARC Summer Design Academy for rising junior and senior high school students will accept applications until May 1, 2017.