Seventy-five thousand New York State college students may be eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This past October, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo broadened the eligibility requirements so that low-income college students between the ages of 18 -49 can qualify for food benefit assistance. The City University of New York has partnered with the non-profit digital referral service Swipe Out Hunger to assist students with food insecurities and their basic needs.

Heres how it works:

Students can complete a form on the Swipe Out Hunger website or text the “Food” to 855.230.6746. Within 72 hours, a CUNY Swipe Out Hunger Food Navigator will reach out to assist students in applying for SNAP benefits. As of January 2021, according to CUNY Food Navigator Suha Chaudhury, “the program has served 300 students within the CUNY community” Ms. Chaudhurry stated that Swipe Out Hunger Food Navigator could also help CUNY SPS students that reside outside of New York State by researching resources within their respective state.

College students that suffer from food insecurity are at risk of not succeeding at their educational goals. According to a 2019 report by the Association of American Colleges & Universities, “Sixty percent of students at two-year institutions and 48 percent of students at four-year institutions faced some form of housing insecurity.”

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