NEC Calls on Congress to Pass Student Food Security Bill
The New England Council has endorsed the Student Food Security Act of 2021. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would make permanent the temporary expansion of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits to low-income college students. In a letter sent to each member of the New England Congressional delegation, the Council noted that the issue of food insecurity is a growing concern among its members in the higher education sector.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the eligibility for SNAP benefits was expanded to include low-income students. The Council encouraged members of the delegation to support this bill, which would permanently expand SNAP eligibility to students who
- are eligible for work study,
- have a $0 Expected Family Contribution under the FAFSA,
- who meet the financial eligibility criteria for a maximum Pell Grant,
- and those who are an independent student whose household is otherwise eligible.
If passed, the bill would also require the collection of data on food insecurity on college campuses.
Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are among the leads sponsors of the Senate version of the bill, which was introduced in May 2021. The companion House bill was introduced at the same time, and Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT) is a lead sponsor.
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