University Community

More students now eligible for expanded food insecurity program

The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has expanded to help support more college students who have been impacted financially by the pandemic. Some students now will be eligible to receive up to $200 monthly to pay for groceries. 

The funding was approved in December as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill. 

“We want students to know that there are resources out there that they might be eligible for. And with this expansion that really opens it up to a considerable number of students that wouldn’t be eligible prior to the CARES Act,” said Douglas Schmaltz, basic needs coordinator in the Ohio University Office of the Dean of Students. 

Schmaltz oversees the Cats’ Cupboard Food Pantry and the Emergency Microgrant Program. 

“There is certainly significant need right now,” he added. “Food insecurity is a major problem on many college campuses, including Ohio University. Our food pantry is evidence of that.”

The changes made to SNAP impact all students who are simply work study eligible. Prior to this adjustment, a student had to be working at least 20 hours per week or actively engaged in a work study role to receive benefits. 

The expanded program also includes students that have a 0 Expected Family Contribution toward education. Students can obtain confirmation of work study eligibility and/or zero Expected Family Contribution in the financial aid section of their OHIO Student Center.

Students must also be enrolled in school at least part-time. There are some additional eligibility requirements, but students can learn more by calling the Department of Job and Family Services at 1-844-640-6446 or visiting their website:

The quickest way to apply is by calling and enrolling over the phone. It can take about 20 to 30 minutes to apply. Once approved, benefits will start the date of the application. Eligible students may receive up to $200 dollars monthly to combat food insecurity. 

Karah Davis is a senior social work student who was placed for her practicum in the Office of the Dean of Students.

“I think that, with the SNAP benefits specifically, it is ensuring that students don’t drop out due to food insecurity or financial issues. This amount of support could make a change for some students,” Davis said. 

Students can read more about the SNAP Program here: They can also fill out an online application at

Applying for benefits may be intimidating or confusing for students. For questions or help, contact staff at the Cats’ Cupboard Food Pantry in the Office of the Dean of Students at or 740.593.1800.

February 17, 2021
Jordan Schmitt