Active Research Projects at UCSB related to Basic Needs

Addressing Basic Needs Equity Gaps; An AANHPI Community Needs Assessment 

UC Santa Barbara’s Food Security and Basic Needs Taskforce received funding from AAPI Data at UC Riverside to survey and interview Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander (AANHPI) students at UCSB to better understand the unique needs of AANHPI students and the communities within this broad umbrella. Findings are expected to be released in 2024.
You can meet our research team.


Central Coast Regional Equity Initiative

The Regional Equity Initiative is sponsored by the UCSB Blum Center and The Fund for Santa Barbara. The Central Coast Regional Equity Initiative aims to understand regional disparities through producing and evaluating key equity indicators. We advocate for social, health, environmental, and economic equity through region-wide cross-sector collaboration, community and research-informed action, and an indigenized and decolonized approach.


Central Coast Regional Equity Study

The Central Coast Regional Equity Study, titled Towards a Just and Equitable Central Coast, uses rigorous, community engaged research both to bring socioeconomic inequities — and the price we pay for them — to light, and to establish concrete guideposts for regional equity. This study marks a critical first step toward initiating and framing a conversation on regional inequality, with research and analysis of equity indicators related to the social, economic, civic, and environmental well-being of our rapidly diversifying region, here represented by Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. While this report is not designed to be prescriptive, the structural inequities it documents speak to the urgent need for collective action that draws on the resources of local government, philanthropy, businesses, and academics as well as community activists and social movements.

Central Coast Regional Equity Study  

Research Papers from UCSB Faculty and Students

L Fan, C Gundersen, K Baylis, M Saksena. “The use of charitable food assistance among low-income households in the United States”, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 121 (1), 27-35 

H Royer, “The response to a loss in medicaid eligibility: Pregnant immigrant mothers in the wake of welfare reform”, Unpublished manuscript, University of California-Santa Barbara, 2005

Research on Basic Needs from Other Institutions

UC Office of the President Basic Needs Research Site

The UC Office of the President maintains a list of some published research related to student basic needs. 

Data and Research


The Hope Center at Temple University

The Hope Center at Temple University is an action research center transforming higher education into a more effective, equitable, and impactful sector using a powerful combination of applied scientific research, technical assistance and educational training services to colleges and universities, policy advising with state and federal governments and agencies, and strategic communications. We believe that students are humans first and that their basic needs (e.g. food, housing, childcare, digital access, transportation, mental health) are central conditions for learning.

Temple University