Rethinking SNAP Benefits for College Students

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Young Invincibles

Hundreds of thousands of college students experience food insecurity every day, a condition characterized by disrupted eating patterns and reduced quality and quantity of diets. This report identifies how college students could and should benefit from federal food assistance programs already funded and in place. The author estimates the number of college students who should qualify for federal food assistance, but do not receive benefits. This shifts the approach from measuring hunger on campus, to rethinking how already available federal resources can address the comprehensive affordability challenges facing today’s students. In this frame, federal food assistance is seen as a vehicle to move beyond traditional federal aid, and to help students achieve success in college by helping them meet their basic needs.

College students, SNAP benefits, food insecurity, educational attainment, academic achievement