Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration temporarily expanded access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for college-aged students last month, The Temple News reported.
The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 will allow students with an expected family contribution of $0 or those who qualify for work study to receive SNAP benefits, in addition to increasing the benefit amount by 15 percent through June 30, The Temple News reported.
The Editorial Board urges students to take advantage of this opportunity for as long as it lasts.
Students can apply online at Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services website for SNAP benefits and don’t have to go through an interview process for it.
Hunger is a public health crisis on college campuses, affecting student’s physical health and academic performance. While some resources on campus, like the Cherry Pantry, give students access to free, nonperishable food, SNAP benefits give single people a maximum of $234 a month to spend at any grocery store, The Temple News reported.
Food insecurity can cause decreased physical health, poorer mental health and depression, Forbes reported.
Many students are in a different situation than they were one year ago. While society places a stigma on food stamps and benefits, government assistance is necessary.
Applying for and receiving these programs during this time is okay. Students should not be afraid to ask for help, and everyone deserves to eat.