Food, Shelter, and Campus Resources

We strive to reduce financial barriers to learning by providing students with financial assistance to help pay for their educational expenses. Here are some offices and resources that offer help to students in need of food and shelter care or other on or off campus resources and support.

The WWU's Basic Needs website provide many helpful resources on or off campus.  Their Basic Needs Resource Navigator may be contacted for student assistance.

This page is updated regularly. Some on campus offices may have reduced hours or closures during campus intercessions and summer break. Contact the offices directly for any inquiries.

Basic Needs Hub

The Basic Needs Hub is a centralized resource that provides information for those facing food insecurity, housing concerns or financial instability.  They can be contacted for assistance in accessing the various resources.  Review their About Us page for applicable contact information or to schedule an appointment.    

Career Closet

The Career Services Center in Old Main 280 provides the WWU Career Closet. Students/alumni can acquire free professional business attire appropriate for job or grad school interviews, networking events, and career fairs. Schedule an appointment to visit the Career Closet by visiting the Career Services Center in Old Main 280 or calling 360.650.4240 between 8-5, M-F.

Contact Britta Eschete at with any questions.

Emergency Financial Aid Funding

The Student Emergency Fund provides assistance to help WWU students alleviate or minimize an unforeseen financial burden. Examples of eligible expenses may include housing, childcare, medical or dental fees, transportation or travel expenses, unpaid student account charges, and technology needs related to online coursework. Available to currently enrolled students. A current financial aid application is not required but encouraged to determine federal or state financial aid eligibility.

Contact the Scholarship Center at or 360.650.3471.

Emergency Loan

Emergency Loans are available to WWU students who need funding on a short term basis. Emergency loans are available for 30, 60, and even 90 days. This loan program can be helpful to students in between paychecks, are experiencing a delay in financial aid disbursement, or have some other short term cash flow difficulty. Visit our web page for eligibility and application information.

WWU Off Campus Living

WWU Off Campus Living is available to assist on the basics of renting, learning about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, and creating community. Their website lists important information on safety, community, getting to know the Bellingham area and an Off-Campus Housing Marketplace to help you find a place to live.

Contact Julia Burns at or 360.650.6863 with any questions.

The Office of Student Life

The Office of Student Life is available to assist WWU students with Dean's Withdrawals (withdrawing for a current term), leaves of absence for non medical emergencies, advice on university policies, procedures or grievances, support when experiencing a crisis or information on university resources.

You may arrange an intake appointment by either contacting or calling 360.650.3706.

Residence Hall Reuse Program

On campus residents can use appliances and other household items free of charge that were donated by previous residents. See available inventory and learn about program logistics on the Resident Checkout Program website.

Contact with any questions.

Student Employment Center

Use Financial Aid’s Student Employment site or Career Service’s Handshake to look for on or off campus employment. For jobs with University Residences such as an RA, desk attendant or to work with on campus dining providers, review the University Residences website.

Contact or 360.650.3158 for more information.

Western Success Scholars

Western Success Scholars (WSS) is a campus-based supportive program designed to assist all incoming WWU first-year, transfer, and continuing students who have experienced foster care or homelessness. The program fosters academic success and a sense of community and belonging by providing a place where students can have a voice, support services, and resources as they persist towards graduation.

Contact Jon Stubblefield at or 360.650.3750 with any questions.

WWU Centers for Student Access, Community and Intercultural Engagement (The Centers)

The Centers for Student Access, Community, and Intercultural Engagement delivers programs to support positive identity development, intercultural learning, collaboration for solidarity, services to improve university resources for students with marginalized identities and collaboratively improves systems, policies and practices along with students and colleagues.  The Centers provides support through Multicultural Student Services, LGBTQ+ Western, Disability Access & Outreach Center, and the Multicultural Center. Events, clubs, and other services are available through these various offices.

WWU Counseling & Wellness Center

Students have access to services such as consultations, intensive group therapy, and intensive brief individual therapy sessions, as well as an unlimited number of workshops and outreach events. Appointments are available virtually or in person in Old Main on the 5th floor.

Contact the Counseling Center at 360.650.3164 between 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The after-hours crisis counselor is available through this same number 24 hours a day.

WWU Health Center

The Student Health Center (SHC) is located in the Campus Services building and provides an extensive array of services including preventive health care and management of health concerns, illnesses, and injuries. Open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.). Check with the SHC for hours during intercession or break periods. Learn more about student health insurance.

Contact 360.650.3400 to make a virtual appointment or to speak to a nurse.

If you are experiencing housing, food or other basic need insecurities, please reach out to our Basic Needs Resource Navigator, Gina Ebbeling at or 360.650.3895.

Note that days and times may vary during summer quarter.

CEED Food Pantry

Located in Miller Hall 150, the Center for Education, Equity, and Justice has a food pantry that has a fridge, freezer, and shelf-stable products. Some produce comes from a partnership with ACME Farms. The pantry is open weekday afternoons from Noon – 5pm.

For more information, contact Grey Webster at

Fairhaven College Food Pantry

Drop off or pick up food at the pantry located across from the Main office on the 3rd floor of Fairhaven College and open when Fairhaven College is open. Shelf stable produce as well as non-perishable items and personal care items are available.

For more information, call Fairhaven College at 360.650.6680.

Journalism Department Food Pantry

Located across from office 257 in the Communications Facility, the Journalism Pantry launched in winter 2019 and was inspired by student projects that surveyed students about food insecurity at Western. All students are invited to take what they need in this space.

For more information, contact Betsy O’Donovan at

Linguistics Department Pantry

Located in Bond Hall 403 in the Seminar Room and Resource Library, this food pantry is open Monday – Friday from 8am – 4:30pm during the academic year and has shelf-stable products all students are welcome to take if they need.

For more information, contact Jordan Sandoval at

Outback Farm

WWU’s 5-acre, student-driven farm on south campus is a home for all students engage in ecosystem restoration, community building, and food justice. It is located between Fairhaven and Buchanan Towers. Engage with your campus community garden by getting a garden plot, volunteering, and picking your own free food.

For more information, contact

Parks Hall Food Pantry

Located in the College of Business’s Student Success Center in Parks Hall 045, the Parks Hall Food Pantry is open weekdays 8am – 5pm and has shelf-stable products and refrigerated goods that all students are welcome to take when they need.

For more information, contact Renee Gayden at

Sociology Department Food Pantry

Located in Arntzen Hall 510 in the Sociology Department community space and kitchen, this pantry is open Monday – Friday from 8am – 4:30pm. All students are invited to take what they need in this pantry space.

For more information, contact Melissa Osborne at

Viking Supported Agriculture

The Sustainability Engagement Institute allows students to sign up with Viva Farms to purchase a local organic produce box. It is available on a sliding scale and accepts EBT. Boxes are available for weekly pick up at High St Hall.

Learn more about the program and find links to sign up on the WWU Sustainability Engagement Institute website.

Western Hub of Living Essentials (WHOLE) Food Pantry

WWU Associated Students provides a food pantry on campus for university community members facing food insecurity. The WHOLE pantry is consistently stocked each week and offers other basic needs necessities such as clothing and toiletries. 

The WHOLE Food Pantry is located in Viking Union 435 and open for some evening and weekend hours. No ID required.

For more information, contact Jenn Cook at

WWU Emergency Food Funding

WWU students who need emergency food funding for a few days can seek assistance by contacting the Financial Aid Services Center.

Bellingham Food Bank

The Bellingham Food Bank serves as a hub, connecting neighbors and emergency food providers with a steady supply of nutritious groceries, fresh food, and a smile. It has options for anyone to shop in the downtown location, have a weekly pick-up option, or request a home delivery. Anyone living in Whatcom County can visit, and a name and address (which are optional) are all you need to share.

Food and Meal Guide

The Whatcom Asset Building Coalition does not want those who must live on a budget to think that a balanced diet is out of reach. There are various organizations in the community that provide support to help you learn how to cook and create delicious and nutritious meals. Additionally, there is a county food and meal resource guide that lists Whatcom County food banks and meal programs.

SNAP Market Match

SNAP Market Match program previously known as Fresh Bucks, matches Basic Food benefits (SNAP/EBT/Food Stamps) dollar-for-dollar for up to $40 in fresh produce per shopper per day. To get Market Match you must already have basic food benefits (SNAP/EBT/Food Stamps).

Washington Basic Food Program

Basic Food (the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program in WA), provides eligible households monthly benefits to buy food. Review the eligibility criteria and how to apply online. For an overview of this process, review the SNAP Webinar. If you receive Basic Food benefits and have an EBT card, you can make eligible purchases at Miller Market and in the Haven POD Market in Fairhaven College.

Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Program

Visit ParentHelp123's Resource Finder

Various local Whatcom County providers can be contacted to schedule an appointment and assist you in receiving WIC services. For more information about WIC and eligibility, the Washington State Department of Health can be referenced.

2-1-1: Washington Information Network

2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember phone number for people to call for health and human service information and referrals and other assistance to meet their needs. Washington 211 maintains a statewide database of community resources. Call 2-1-1 from your phone or visit the website to find local food, shelter, and other resources.

Northwest Youth Services

Northwest Youth Services is a non-profit organization serving young people ages 13-24 experiencing homelessness in Whatcom and Skagit Counties. They support youth in identifying goals and building the skills necessary to reach their own sense of stability. Northwest Youth Services offers housing, street outreach, help finding a job or enrolling in school, connection to mental health services, support for LGBTQ youth, restorative justice for juvenile offenders, and referrals to other services in the community.

Cascade Natural Gas CARES Program

The Cascade Arrearage Relief and Energy Savings Program allows qualifying Cascade Natural Gas customers to receive a discount on the monthly bill or help with past due balances if needed.  Additional assistance programs include the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) grants for Washington and weatherization assistance.  You can apply through the Opportunity Council or contact Cascade Customer Service at 888.522.1130

Opportunity Council

The Opportunity Council is a private, non-profit Community Action Agency serving homeless and low-income families and individuals. The Opportunity Council offers a broad scope of services that range from addressing immediate and crisis-oriented needs (food, emergency shelter, and eviction-prevention) to longer-term programs that promote self-sufficiency in our community (early childhood education and home weatherization).

PSE Bill Discount & HELP Program

Whatcom County residents may qualify for Puget Sound Energy (PSE) Bill Discount or HELP (bill assistance) programs which provide assistance for gas and electrical bills.  There is one simple application and in most cases no proof of income is required.  To determine if you are eligible go to  When you apply with PSE for Bill Discount, they will also create an application for HELP.  Contact the local agency to verify if you qualify for HELP or for additional assistance programs.

The Opportunity Council 360.734.5121 ext. 3 OR The Salvation Army (Bellingham 360.733.1410) or (Lynden 360.354.4673).

The Lighthouse Mission

The Lighthouse Mission is located in Whatcom County and is open to anyone looking to break the cycle of homelessness by providing safe shelter, nutritious meals and one-on-one case management. They offer several faith-based programs and services for immediate and extended stay options. Their programs include Base Camp (overnight shelter and meals), Agape Home for Women and children and the Ascent Men’s Recovery Program. You may contact them at 360.733.5120.

Whatcom County Crisis Services

Whatcom County Crisis Services.  Information for immediate services for shelter, food, clothing, and mental health care.

Whatcom Homeless Service Center

The Whatcom Homeless Service Center coordinates many of the housing resources in Whatcom County and has created a centralized and accessible way to link consumers to appropriate services.

VITA Tax Assistance

Need assistance with preparing and filing taxes? Visit the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, typically from February through April of each year.