Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Help Paying for Groceries through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

In response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the federal government has expanded college students’ access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP benefits (formerly called Food Stamps). The federal government has also boosted the amount of SNAP. For someone who purchases and prepares their food alone, the SNAP benefit is $250 per month! Right now, because of the pandemic, everyone who qualifies for SNAP gets the maximum amount for their household size (see chart below). Per the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021, there were two new student exemptions:

  • Students who have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $0
  • Students eligible for work study funding regardless if the student accepts or declines it

*Please reach out to Financial Aid to check your current EFC and work study award.*

Eligible students can use SNAP benefits to buy food through an EBT card (like a debit card). SNAP can be used to buy food at supermarkets, local grocery stores, corner stores, farmers markets, and online from Amazon, Walmart, and ALDI (through Instacart).

Student picking out onions and potatoes


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SNAP is an entitlement program, which means that every single person eligible for the program will get benefits. SNAP is how many Minnesotans are feeding their families and surviving the pandemic. Access to this benefit has expanded because the federal government understands how critical food access is for college students.

IMPORTANT NOTE: To be eligible for SNAP, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident for at least 5 years with a Social Security Number. You must also meet additional SNAP rules and income eligibility criteria.