By: Heather E. King
Emerging research demonstrates American college student food insecurity is a pressing issue, potentially affecting academic performance, retention and health. However, college students do not qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — the largest federal food program — unless they meet certain exemptions, regardless of food security status. This study identified specific policy barriers college students in the United States face in qualifying for SNAP. Results reveal outdated employment requirements for college students, which are more stringent than SNAP employment requirements for many other populations and which do not reflect common circumstances, are primary barriers. Ironically, unemployment or underemployment increases risk for food insecurity, but will often disqualify a college student from SNAP.