New Opportunities to Connect College Students to SNAP
Monday, March 8, 2021
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Hunger is an unfortunate reality for many Ohio college students, but there are new opportunities to help connect more students to food assistance.
The USDA is allowing new flexibility so low-income "traditional" students temporarily can qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Betsy Suver, bureau chief of SNAP, cash policy and technical assistance for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, explained two changes, the first of which involves eligibility for work-study students.
"It used to say 'participating in a work study,' but now all they have to do is be eligible to participate in a work study," Suver outlined. "And the second one is completely new; and this is students with an expected family contribution or EFC of zero."
That means eligible students must have filled out a zero EFC on their financial-aid application.
A survey conducted at the start of the pandemic found 44% of students at two-year colleges and 38% of students at four-year colleges were food insecure.
The changes were part of the CARES Act passed in December.
Suver noted the maximum SNAP benefit also was boosted by 15% during the pandemic.
"So even if someone would normally just qualify for $100, they will get the $234 while we're eligible for what are called emergency allotments," Suver observed.
Food insecurity is more prevalent among non-traditional students; those age 25 and older and those who are parents.
Randy Gardener, Chancellor for the Ohio Department of Higher Education, said campuses need to ensure the academic success and wellness of the "whole student" is supported.
"Higher education must be about supporting and respecting the whole student. You've got health-care challenges, you've got unemployment issues and trying to maintain a semblance of education during this difficult time just means we have to do everything we can," Gardener stressed. "We have to do as much as possible."
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and The Ohio Department of Higher Education are working with The Center for Community Solutions and the Ohio Association of Foodbanks to help colleges and universities raise awareness about the new opportunities for food assistance.
get more stories like this via email
RICHMOND, Va. - As U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., takes heat this week for attending a posh fundraiser in a dress that said "Tax the …
EAST TROY, Wis. - Wisconsin farmers are looking ahead to the fall harvest, and those who use cover crops face a deadline to sign up for a research …
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The pandemic is shining a new light on the burdens felt by family caregivers, and a bill in Congress would remove some of the …
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - State Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, is lashing out against the idea of Critical Race Theory, filing a bill to ban its use in all …
PORTLAND, Ore. - Wealthy Americans have a message for Congress: Tax us more. More than 200 high-income taxpayers and business owners have sent an …
ALBANY, N.Y. - As a U.S. House committee debates the Biden administration's "Build Back Better" Act, a letter from more than 200 wealthy Americans …
By Sonali Kolhatkar for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Lily Bohlke for Commonwealth News Service reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Three New Hampshire professors are among those who've signed a letter urging the United Nations General Assembly to adopt what's …