Bear Bytes: Healthy Eating and Student Support Program
New York Institute of Technology's Bear Bytes initiative provides food and other health and wellness resources and information to students at our New York campuses. A collaborative effort among campus partners—New York Tech Campus Dining Services, Student Engagement and Development, School of Management Student Advisory Board, Office of the Bursar, and community resources—Bear Bytes promotes and supports proper nutrition and wellness that are essential to academic success.
- Smart Meals Program
- Grizzly Cupboard
- Food and Nutritional Information
- Government Resources
- Bear Bytes Events
Smart Meals Program
The Smart Meals program offers individualized assistance to students at the New York campuses, helping to identify and explore potential financial resources to be used to purchase food items. If you think you might benefit from this program, contact the Office of the Dean of Students and we can explore the options available to you!
All information will remain confidential to the staff responsible for providing assistance.
Office of the Dean of Students
Student Activity Center, room 208
New York City
Office of the Dean of Students
26 West 61st St., room M04
The Grizzly Cupboard—New York Institute of Technology's food pantry—is a welcoming, inclusive, and confidential on-campus location that offers free, wholesome, and healthy nonperishable food items.
The Grizzly Cupboard is open on both campuses Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Long Island location: SAC, 2nd Floor
- NYC location: 26 West 61st St., Room 006
In order to prevent overcrowding in the space, please make an appointment. Appointments can be booked at either location. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Thank you to our partners:
Food and Nutritional Information
On-Campus Dining Options: Non-residential students can enroll in the Commuter Plus meal plan to receive tax-free benefits when dining on campus.
Healthy Eating: Students can refer to the following websites for information on healthy eating, eating on a budget, and meal ideas.
- Hunger Free America Online Food Assistance Resource
- Food Bank For New York City
- United Way of Long Island
- United Way of NYC
- Healthy Recipes from the Grizzly Cupboard
- Leanne Brown's Good and Cheap Cookbook (English)
- Leanne Brown's Good and Cheap Cookbook (Spanish)
SNAP Benefits:The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides food assistance for low-income individuals, families, people who are aging, and people with disabilities, helping them to supplement the cost of their diet with nutritious foods. Please click here for more information, or one of these links to be redirected to specific info about SNAP Benefits in your state.
Important Note: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has temporarily expanded to include college students who meet specific criteria.
Local government resources: Visit these sites for up-to-date information about programs and resources to help with food, housing, and other necessities.
- New York State Residents:
- New York City Residents:
- Nassau County Residents: Long Island Cares for food resources
- Suffolk County Residents: suffolkcountyny.gov for general information and Long Island Cares for food resources
- 2-1-1 Long Island
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of Bear Bytes? Is this initiative necessary?
The goal of Bear Bytes is to provide food and other health and wellness resources and information direct and indirect) to students to encourage and support proper nutrition and wellness that are essential to academic success. Data gathered from a recent campus survey shows this is a need for a lot of students. We want to help students be their best inside and outside of the classroom!
Who can receive help from the Bear Bytes initiative?
The Smart Meals program offers individualized assistance to students at the New York campuses. If you think you might benefit from this, contact the Office of the Dean of Students and we can explore the options available to you! The Grizzly Cupboard is open to all enrolled undergraduate and graduate students at the New York campuses.
Is this program anonymous? I don't feel comfortable talking about this.
Since we want to help every student as much as possible with their situation, the program isn't anonymous. The more you tell us, the more we can help you. All information will remain confidential to the staff responsible for providing assistance.
How much food will I be provided with if I am not the only person living in my household?
The Grizzly Cupboard will provide recommendations for how much food can be obtained during a visit based upon household size. We will aim to provide nine meals per person (three meals for three days) in each home during each visit. Students are able to visit the Grizzly Cupboard once per week. For a better understanding of this offering, please see the "How to Pack a Balanced Pantry Bag" infographic provided by Food Bank for New York City.
How can I manage feelings of anxiety and stress associated with being a college student and managing difficulties with accessing healthy food and other personal resources?
Beyond the transition that students face when beginning college, there can be other significant periods of stress throughout your college career. . Making new friends, adjusting to a demanding workload, and navigating college during the era of COVID-19 can certainly increase feelings of anxiety. While it is normal to experience stress from time to time, chronic stress or stress that is unmanaged can have a negative affect on our physical and mental well-being. If you experience hopelessness, trouble concentrating, difficulty sleeping, fast heartbeat, excessive worry, withdrawal from friends, a decline in academic achievement, etc. for an extended period of time, please contact New York Tech’s Counseling and Wellness Center for assistance and resources to support and encourage you during this time.
New York Tech Food Insecurity Survey 2019 Results
According to the National College and University Basic Needs Insecurity Report (2019), 45 percent of college students surveyed at 123 institutions reported experiencing food insecurity in the past 30 days. The study also found a statistically significant relationship with self-reported poor physical health, symptoms of depression, and higher perceived stress.. Food insecurity was also found to have an impact on academic performance as students who experience food insecurity report lower completion and credit attainment rates.
To assess the needs of our students and guide our response, New York Tech conducted a Food Insecurity Survey in fall 2019. Of those students at our New York campuses who responded, over half answered "yes" to having eaten less food than they thought they should have due not having enough money over the course of a month. In a follow-up question to this group, more than a quarter of students stated that they had eaten less than they thought they should have for more than 10 days in the month prior to taking the survey. Given these findings, New York Tech seeks to support students through the Smart Meals Program and provide a food pantry, the Grizzly Cupboard, on each of our New York campuses.