Courtesy of Food For Freedom fair

Just when you thought there wasn’t anything better in the world than munching down on free food, your fellow Gaucho geniuses have come up with something far superior.

Student interns and activists from various organizations on campus came together to create an entire day during which you will not only get to eat complementary cuisine and enjoy live entertainment but also become educated about local and global food insecurity. The Food for Freedom Fair will take place on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Anisq’Oyo’ Park in Isla Vista.

Food insecurity, which means being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious food, is a pressing issue that affects many people, especially students. In the UC system alone, 42 percent of students are food insecure, with African-American and Hispanic students having the highest rates of food insecurity at 60 percent and 59 percent, respectively. Nationwide, LGBTQ individuals are 1.6 times more likely to experience food insecurity than the rest of the population.

Bryn Daniel, one of the organizers of the event, said, “The fair will serve as a fun and creative space to start meaningful conversations around creating a more sustainable and just food system.”

Students from the Student Activist Network, Associated Students, the Associated Students Food Bank Committee and the Food, Nutrition, and Basic Skills team have organized this event filled with informational and engaging activities.

Eighteen different campus and community organizations will be tabling to provide opportunities for those who want to learn more about and get involved in food-related efforts at UCSB and in Isla Vista. Throughout the day, there will also be speeches from prominent food justice researchers and activists. Many student performances will also take place from artists like Abraham Lizama and Laura Lora.

CalFresh, the state’s version of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, will be present at the fair to assist with applications for work-study students and others who also qualify for up to $194 per month in food assistance. Another highlight of this event will be a free food distribution (aka free groceries) from both the Associated Students Food Bank and the Isla Vista Co-op from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Make sure you don’t miss the Food for Freedom Fair on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Anisq’Oyo’ Park. You will surely leave the fair with both a happy stomach and an even more nourished mind!