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).
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.
Income Limits and Monthly Benefit Amounts
Below are the current SNAP eligibility income limits and monthly benefit amounts:
|Unit Size||Income Limits (165% of Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG))|
|Each additional member||$625|
The Maximum SNAP Benefit amounts effective 10/1/2021:
|Unit Size||Benefit Amount|
For each additional member, add $188
You may need to apply for SNAP with other people you live with, including:
- Your parents - if you are under 22 years old
- If you are a parent, your children who are under age 22
- Your spouse
- Anyone else you live with and you share your meals with
To learn more, visit the Minnesota SNAP website.
Tuition, supplies, daily expenses, and food can add up. You do not need to skip on groceries to afford tuition. We hope you apply if you’re eligible! Contact the Student Resource & Support Center with questions at 651-747-4098 or firstname.lastname@example.org.