September is Hunger Action Month, and the State University of New York (SUNY) is reminding its students that going to school should never mean having to go hungry. Help is available for anyone having difficulty maintaining a nutritious diet or affording groceries.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) issues electronic benefits that can be used like cash to purchase food. Low-income students between the ages of 18 and 49 who are enrolled at least halftime in higher education may be eligible if they meet any of the following criteria:
- Qualify to participate in a work-study
- Have an expected family contribution (EFC) of $0
- Attend a SUNY community college, comprehensive college, or technical college and are enrolled in a career and technical education (CTE) program
- Are enrolled in a CTE program, remedial courses, basic adult education, literacy or English as a second language
- Can meet other SNAP rules
Apply for SNAP online at mybenefits.ny.gov
Need help applying for SNAP? Nutrition Outreach and Education (NOEP) coordinators offer one-on-one help. NOEP coordinators can tell if you may be eligible for SNAP and help you gather the documents you need, and fill out and send in your SNAP application. You’ll also get information on other programs that may help stretch your food budget, like school meals and summer meals for kids. The service is free and confidential.
Find your NOEP coordinator here.
Stony Brook University, along with all 64 SUNY colleges and universities, provides stigma-free food access available to its students through the SBU Food Pantry.
The Food Pantry provides perishable and non-perishable food items for students, staff and faculty and is open Monday through Saturday, staffed by undergraduate and graduate student volunteers. It offers a range of healthy food options that provide meal supplementation based on consultation with hospital and campus dietitians, and offers gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan food items in response to dietary restrictions. The pantry also coordinates with the Hospital Rooftop Micro-Farm, the student-run Culinart/FSA Freight Farm, and Permaculture Gardens so guests can have access to fresh fruits and vegetables as they are harvested.
The Food Pantry is located in the Stony Brook Union, Suite L-20 (ground floor). Follow @civicjusticesbu on Instagram for the latest information.
Find more information at https://suny.edu/foodinsecurity/