Seeking Assistance

Students should ignore stigmas and seek programs intended to provide aid. As of August 2010, 27.6 percent of Philadelphians receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program. This

Students should ignore stigmas and seek programs intended to provide aid.

As of August 2010, 27.6 percent of Philadelphians receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program. This week, Danette Coombs reports that college students are using the government program as well. [“Getting food, and getting by,” Page 7]

In 2008, Michael Nutter partnered with BenePhilly to enroll thousands of low-income Philadelphians in federal and state benefits. While the focus was on seniors in need, The Temple News encourages students to identify their areas of need, too. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, to be eligible for SNAP, a one-person household cannot make more than a gross total of $1,444 per month. That’s only $333 a week. In Pennsylvania, a 40-hour workweek making minimum wage – $7.25 – adds up to just $290.

Not many students are able to balance 40-hour workweeks and maintain 12 to 18 credit hours, so one can safely assume most students fit into that less-than-$1,444 monthly gross income.

However, it remains common for society to belittle those who must rely on government assistance, particularly in the area surrounding Main Campus. Lest we forget, a majority of students already receive government aid through tuition grants and loans. If students find themselves financially overburdened, there is no shame in them applying for SNAP to more adequately fill their cupboards, refrigerators and stomachs.

The SNAP eligibility handbook deems the following college students eligible for food stamps: part-time students enrolled in a higher-learning institution, full-time students who are single parents responsible for the care of a child under age 12 or full-time students enrolled who comply with work requirements specified in the handbook.

And while the SNAP requirements may seem daunting, the only way for a student to determine whether he or she is eligible is to apply at https://www.compass.state.pa.us/.

2 Comments

  1. I am so glad that so many are getting help to fill their refrigerator. It is hard times for a lot of people but knowing that those that need simple things like food and are getting them makes me feel like we are a real society.

  2. All in all, its not fair to take money away from the sick and elderly, those individuals that honestly need the assistance. This article is shameful. You shouldn’t have both a higher education and free food. Pick one…

    E. Board – shame on you…

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