Food Resources

Campus and community resources to help students have consistent access to nutritious foods. 

Free assistance is available. Meet with the Basic Needs Staff: schedule an appointment. 



Picture of food resources available at Columbia College

Picture of food brochure for food resources at Columbia College


Emergency Food Resources

For students in immediate need of food, please see these resources:

If you are on campus or able to come to campus, please contact the Ponderosa Food Pantry either by visiting the Student Center at the Ponderosa building, or by calling  (209) 588-5111.   

For Tuolumne County residents, ATCAA (Amador Tuolumne Community Action Agency) distributes food around the county in many areas. To find out where to pick up food, call (209) 984-3960 ext. 101. 

For Calaveras County residents, The Resource Connection distributes food to clients who meet income guidelines on an emergency basis. Call (209) 754-1257. Open Monday through Wednesday 9 am to 4:30 pm and closed Fridays. Located at 206 George Reed Drive in San Andreas.  

The Lambert Community Center provides food for those in need at 347 West Jackson Street and is open Monday through Friday from 11 am to 2 pm.  

Ponderosa Pantry

The Ponderosa Pantry offers free food to Tuolumne County residents and is located on the Columbia College campus at the Student Center in the Ponderosa building. 
A one-time application is required to determine financial eligibility. The food bank is open to students, staff, faculty, and other Tuolumne County residents.
For more information, call (209) 588-5111, or visit the Student Center at the Ponderosa building.   
Visit the  Ponderosa Pantry web page for more information and to find out specific pantry pick-up dates where perishable food is distributed. 

Student Center Kitchen

The Student Center (located in the Ponderosa building) has a full kitchen that students may use to warm up or store food. The kitchen also has a rotating variety of items available for students to eat. Stop in to see what the kitchen currently has available! 

On-Campus Dining Options

Located in the lower level of Columbia College's Manzanita building, there is the Lakeside Café and the Cellar Bistro.  The Lakeside Café is Columbia College's snack bar and is open during the summer semester from 8:30 am to 4 pm Monday through Thursday.  During the Fall and Spring semester, the café is open from 8:30 am to 4 pm Monday through Thursday and 8:30 am to 3 pm on Fridays. For more information about the Lakeside Café, call (209) 588-5321.   

The Cellar Bistro is operated by Hospitality Management program and is a dine-in style option. The bistro is open only during the Fall and Spring semesters and has varying hours of operation. For more information about the Cellar Bistro, call (209) 588-5135.   


CalFresh is a state program for low-income people who meet federal income eligibility rules and who need aid in accessing healthy and nutritious foods. CalFresh awards eligible people up to $250 per month in funds for groceries. To get started, fill out the  CalFresh Application

*What to expect: You will be asked to submit a copy of your ID, proof of any income, proof of immigration status (for non-citizens), and proof of students status (for students).   
Submitting these documents may increase the amount of aid you receive: proof of housing expenses, proof child support you may pay, proof of child/dependent care paid, and proof of medical expenses for disabled or people who are age 60 or older.   
After submitting an online application, you may be contacted by a county worker who will ask you more questions about your application.

You can also apply for CalFresh by calling (1 877) 847-3663 or by visiting the Tuolumne County Social Services office at 20075 Cedar Road North in Sonora. 

Facts about CalFresh:  

  • CalFresh is also known as SNAP benefits/food stamps  
  • Only takes a few minutes to apply
  • Won't affect your financial aid
  • If you receive SSI benefits, you are automatically eligible for CalFresh 
  • For parents of children ages 0 to 5: qualifying for CalFresh benefits automatically qualifies you for free preschool through Head Start. For more information, contact ATCAA at (209) 533-0361 for Tuolumne County services or The Resource Connection at (209) 754-2000 for Calaveras County services.  


The Women's, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) is a nutrition education program that helps pregnant women, women who just had a baby, and children up to age 5 eat well, be active, and stay healthy. Dads, grandparents, foster parents, or guardians who care for children up to age 5 are also encouraged to apply. WIC services include monthly food benefits, prenatal nutrition information, breastfeeding information and support, access to a dietitian, healthy eating tips, nutritious recipes, and more.  

Pregnant women, women who just had a baby, children up to age 5, and fathers, grandparents, foster parents or guardians of children under 5 years old qualify if they are income eligible or already receive Medi-Cal insurance, CalWORKS (cash aid) or CalFresh (SNAP) benefits.   

For Tuolumne County residents, to apply call (209) 533-7431 to set up an appointment. 
For Calaveras and Amador County residents, to apply call (209) 223-7685 to set up an appointment.   
For more information about WIC benefits, visit  the WIC county web page.   

Community Food Pantries

Amador Tuolumne Community Action Agency (ATCAA) Partner Pantries: For the latest information about what food pantries are currently serving community members, visit the ATCAA Food Bank Web Page. 

Check out The Resource Connection Food Bank Facebook Page for information about when mobile food pantries and produce days are scheduled for. 

Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Food Distribution Program

The Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians have partnered along with the USDA and local farmers and ranchers to bring locally sourced fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat straight to your family. For more information about this program, please visit the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk website. 

Local Free Community Meals

Tuolumne County

  • Breakfast every third Sunday from 9:00 am to 10:30 am 
    Tuolumne Memorial Hall 
    18375 Fir Avenue in Tuolumne  
    For more information call 209-928-1214 or 209-532-3337  

  • Dinner every Wednesday 5:30 pm
    Christian Heights Church 
    12711 Joshua Way in Sonora
    For more info call 209-532-7305 

  • Dinner every Thursday from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm  
    Sonora United Methodist Church  
    90 Yaney Avenue in Sonora 
    For more information call (209) 532-4850.  

  • Dinner on the last Sunday of every month 
    Connecting Columbia Church  
    11281 Highway 49, Sonora.  
    For more information, call (209) 7 43-3519.   

Calaveras County

  • Breakfast every fourth Saturday of the month 9 am to 11 am.   
    Good Samaritan Community Covenant Church 
    4684 Baldwin Street in Valley Springs 
    For more information call (209) 772-9548 

  • Dinner every Wednesday from 4:30 pm to 6 pm  
    San Andreas Community Covenant Church 
    261 Treat Avenue in San Andreas 
    For more information, call (209) 754-3881 


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