Students who are experiencing food insecurity may be able to apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during the COVID-19 public health emergency. SNAP is a federal assistance program that assists low income families and individuals by supplementing their food budgets. Note that only US Citizens or legal non-citizens are eligible to apply for SNAP benefits. Recently, the federal government has expanded eligibility for students where one of the criteria for eligibility is that they have an expected family contribution (EFC) of zero (“0”) per their FAFSA in the current (2020-21) academic year. In addition to the 0 EFC criteria, the student must meet other federal criteria.
To determine if you have a 0 EFC, you must obtain your 2020-21 Student Aid Report (SAR) by logging into your FAFSA account. You will find your EFC in the upper right-hand corner of your SAR. You will likely need to submit this documentation should you meet all other financial and non-financial eligibility criteria. Expanded eligibility will be in effect until 30 days after the COVID-19 public health emergency is lifted. Per U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidance, students should apply in the state in which they are currently living and attending school. Information regarding the Massachusetts SNAP application can be found at https://www.mass.gov/snap-benefits. For other state resources, visit https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/state-directory. Questions about SNAP eligibility should be directed to the state agency administering the program.