- Posted by Admin
- On October 19, 2017
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- College Students, Florida, food policy, HR 3875, Lawson, Nutrition, SNAP, SNAP Bill, The College Student Hunger Act of 2017
By: Megan Edison, Miami University Ohio
Bill H.R. 3875, “The College Student Hunger Act of 2017,” sponsored by Representative Al Lawson Jr. from the state of Florida, was introduced in the House of Representatives on September 28, 2017. The goal of the bill is to amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to allow students to qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (Lawson, 2017).
Food insecurity in college age students is a prevalent issue across campuses. In a 2016 survey of around 3,800 students at 34 community and 4-year colleges across 12 states, 48%, of students reported levels of food insecurity. Many of these food insecure students belong to minority groups and/or are first generation students. Food insecurity in the student population has been seen to have a stark impact on school performance. 55% of the food insecure students surveyed reported that food insecurity related problems inhibited them from purchasing required textbooks and 53% said that it was why they had to miss a class. Half of the food insecure students have jobs, and three quarters of them receive financial aid to help pay for their higher education (Dubick, Mathews, Cady, 2016).
Currently, SNAP regulations state that if a person is enrolled in college or any higher education for at least part of the time, they are no longer eligible to receive SNAP benefits. However, under certain circumstances like if they are a single parent that is attending college as a full time student and is taking care of a dependent under the age of 12, they can still qualify to receive supplemental assistance through SNAP (Food and Nutrition Services, 2016). The College Student Hunger Act of 2017 would amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to allow independent college students and those who would have no expected financial help from family to apply and receive SNAP benefits (Lawson, 2017).
The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Agriculture (Lawson, 2017). In order to become law, it will need to pass this committee, as well as the full House and the full Senate, then make its way to the President’s desk to be signed.
Lawson, A. (September, 2017). H.R. 3875- College student hunger act of 2017. Retrieved from: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115thcongress/housebill/3875/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22nutrition%22%5D%7D&r=9
Dubick, J., Mathews, B., Cady, C. (October, 2016). Hunger on campus: The challenge of food insecurity for college students. Retrieved from: http://studentsagainsthunger.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Hunger_On_Campus.pdf
Food and Nutrition Services. (May, 2016). Students: Supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP). Retrieved from: https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/students