What is this? Who is this for?
The College SNAP Project is a state-by-state guide for college students who need up-to-date information on how to apply for and receive SNAP benefits in their state, and for finding advocacy organizations working on this issue in their state. This crowdsourced knowledge center lets students, administrators, and advocates contribute their firsthand information and use their voice to strengthen the nutrition safety net.
College students experience food insecurity in every state of the Union. In 2016, around 3.3 million students were estimated to be eligible for SNAP, but fewer than half participated. Among the barriers to entry are complicated eligibility criteria, which leave students unable to figure out if they qualify and how to apply for benefits. This guide is designed to reduce college student hunger by helping students navigate these criteria and receive the benefits to which they are entitled.
What is SNAP?
SNAP—the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is the federal nutrition program that forms the first line of defense against hunger in the U.S. Formerly known as food stamps, this program grants qualifying individuals a monthly benefit to purchase food at participating grocery stores, campus markets, corner stores, farmers markets, and other vendors. The benefits are loaded automatically onto an electronic card, like a debit card, and are refreshed automatically.
While SNAP is a federal program, it is implemented by state governments. That means that applications, agencies, deadlines, and other factors vary from one state to another.
Find out about SNAP in your state
How Do I Use This?
About This Project
The College SNAP Project is a joint project of Swipe Out Hunger and the Congressional Hunger Center.
Swipe Out Hunger is a national nonprofit committed to ending college student hunger. It advises colleges and universities on the design of commonsense and innovative anti-hunger programs. The most commonly adopted model is the organization’s flagship program, "The Swipe Drive," which allows students to donate their extra meal plan swipes to their peers who face food insecurity on campus. Recognized for its entrepreneurial nature, Swipe Out Hunger has been named an Obama White House Champion For Change and its founder, Rachel Sumekh, has landed a spot on the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. From its beginnings as a grassroots movement at UCLA in 2010, Swipe Out Hunger has since served 2 million nourishing meals across 38 states and more than 120 campuses.
Founded in 1993 by a bipartisan group of Members of Congress, the Congressional Hunger Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the principle that access to nutritious, affordable, and culturally appropriate food is a basic human right. The Hunger Center develops, inspires, and connects leaders in the movement to end hunger and its root causes, and advocates for public policies that will create a food secure world.
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