The Congressional Hunger Center and Swipe Out Hunger launched the College SNAP Project today to provide vital, state-by-state information to college students experiencing food insecurity. This website enables students to find out if they are eligible and how to apply for, receive, and maintain SNAP1 benefits.
SNAP is the most effective and efficient federal anti-hunger program, but is underutilized by college students—up to 2 million students who are eligible for the program do not enroll, according to a 2018 GAO report. Confusing eligibility criteria such as income limits, work and residency requirements, and unclear definitions of what constitutes an institution of higher learning often leave students unable to determine if they qualify for the program. The same report recommended “clarification of SNAP student eligibility rules and enhanced information sharing about state efforts” to help eligible students access nutrition benefits.
The new website is the first comprehensive collection of state-level SNAP information designed for college students. Students, administrators, and anti-hunger advocates can use the site to learn about the eligibility requirements for SNAP in their states and any provisions in place that make it easier for college students to access SNAP, and connect with anti-hunger organizations promoting student basic needs at the state or local level.
“The Hunger Center is known for being a clearinghouse for practical and effective solutions to hunger,” said Congressional Hunger Center Executive Director Shannon Maynard. “That’s why we’re proud to be partnering with Swipe Out Hunger on this initiative. By connecting students and advocates with essential information on one of the most important components of our federal food security safety net, we can really make a difference in rates of hunger on college campuses.”
The College SNAP Project’s information is crowdsourced from students, advocates, and administrators, and verified by the Hunger Center and Swipe Out Hunger.
“SNAP is the first line of defense against hunger in the U.S. and yet, many college students are not yet accessing it,” said Swipe Out Hunger Founder & CEO Rachel Sumekh. “By making this information available to students, more college students struggling to know where their next meal is coming from can depend on this incredible resource so students can not only survive, but also thrive in college.”
Launching with eligibility and application information for 10 states, the project will eventually encompass all 53 state-level implementations of the federal program. Learn more at CollegeSNAPproject.org.
About Swipe Out Hunger Founded by a group of friends at University of California Los Angeles in 2010, Swipe Out Hunger is a leading nonprofit addressing hunger among college students. The organization implements and supports commonsense and innovative solutions to campus hunger, including its flagship program, “The Swipe Drive,” where students can donate their extra meal plan swipes to their peers who face food insecurity on campus. Swipe Out Hunger’s national movement spans more than 120 colleges and has served 2 million nutritious meals to date.
About the Congressional Hunger Center 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.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [↩]