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Portland State University Receives SNAP Grant for Low-Income Students

Portland State University has received a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Training and Education Program grant that will help in promoting self-sufficiency among low-income students.

Run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, the SNAP program “helps low-income people buy the food they need for good health.”

The university is the first four-year institution in the country to receive such a grant. The $277,000 awarded under the program will allow the school to extend support to most vulnerable students who receive food stamp benefits by covering tuition and fees, books, clothing and tools, childcare and transportation.

The program would further allow the university to hire a new, full-time case manager to handle student outreach and a new, half time administrative assistant to assist with enrollment and reporting.

“If, as an institution, we want to bring in students who have unique challenges,” said Brian Paez, case manager for Coordination Assessment Response Education at PSU.

“We have a responsibility to have the resources to help them succeed and meet their academic needs.”

Eligible students will also receive help to apply for federal food assistance benefits. Currently, the university is conducting a survey of students and employees to better understand homelessness, and housing and food insecurity.

Using SNAP to Combat Food Insecurity in College

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