Thousands of New México college students might be eligible for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, commonly known as food stamps, announced the New México Human Services Department and Higher Education Department.
“The pandemic has created many economic challenges particularly for college students and families with limited resources,” said Cabinet Secretary David R. Scrase, M.D. “Jobs for college students are scarce. College students have either had their hours reduced or lost their job altogether, making it difficult to meet their basic needs. We look forward to working with the Higher Education Department to spread the word and extend food benefits to New México college students and urge congress to make this a permanent change.”
“Food insecurity should never be a barrier to academic success,” said Acting Higher Education Department Secretary Stephanie Rodríguez. “It is our job to reflect the needs of students during this pandemic and beyond, and action is vital to ensure that no student goes hungry. We’re working with our partners at colleges and universities across the state to raise awareness about the expansion of SNAP benefits for college students and their families.”
“Food insecurity should never be a barrier to academic success. It is our job to reflect the needs of students during this pandemic and beyond, and action is vital to ensure that no student goes hungry.”
Stephanie Rodríguez, Higher Education Department
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, temporarily expands SNAP eligibility to include students enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education, who either: Are eligible to participate in state or federally financed work study during the regular school year, as determined by the institution of higher education, or have an expected family contribution (EFC) of $0 in the current academic year.
Beginning on Jan. 16, 2021, students who meet one of the two criteria outlined above may receive SNAP if they meet all other financial and non-financial SNAP eligibility criteria. This eligibility will remain in place until 30 days after the public health emergency ends. Since the Biden Administration has advised that the declaration will most likely remain in place at least until the end of 2021 and states will have 60 days-notice before it ends, this policy change will more than likely be something that can help families for the remainder of the crisis.
New México college students who would like to apply should visit: www.yes.state.nm.us
According to the 2020 University of New México Basic Needs Insecurity Research Report, food insecurity can impact academic success and student health and wellbeing. Food insecurity is associated with lower grades and a greater likelihood of students withdrawing or otherwise deferring or suspending their studies. Students who are food insecure are less likely to report a sense of belonging, more likely to feel they are not welcome to engage with faculty, and less likely to access campus services. Overall, at the University of New México, the prevalence of food insecurity among students is 32 percent, with American Indian students at 52 percent, and Hispanic students at 35 percent. In New México, the rate for food insecure households is 16.9 percent.
For More New México News: ELSEMANARIO.US
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