Better Information Could Help Eligible College Students Access Federal Food Assistance Benefits

Posted by Government Accountability Office on April 2, 2019

New Report:

Many college students may not have enough to eat—but nobody knows exactly how many. Studies show a range of estimates, but none of the 31 we reviewed provided a national estimate. We also looked at student use of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Of the 3.3 million students who were potentially eligible in 2016, less than half said they participated.

Colleges have responded to student hunger by opening food pantries and helping students understand complicated SNAP rules.

We recommended the Food and Nutrition Service clarify the rules and share information on how states help eligible students use SNAP.

As of September 2018, over 650 colleges reported having a food pantry on campus that provides free food to college students in need.

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