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FS/SNAP and Community College Students: More DTA Policy Guidance, Social Network Outreach

1) Social Networking resources to reach low income community college students:

In anticipation of the start of a new school year, and in order to help you reach low income students in the 15 Massachusetts community colleges, our wonderful summer intern Risa Waldoks (a college student herself) has prepared detailed materials for local community outreach. The attached memo and college-by-college guide includes links to the local community college websites, Facebook and Twitter pages, financial aid offices, college publications, student clubs and offices. Please feel free to use this information to reach low income students in your area (note, students do NOT have to wait until September to apply for SNAP benefits - they can apply any time - preferably through the Virtual Gateway - and qualify if otherwise eligible, even if on summer break). We have also created a Twitter hashtag, "food4students" to track messaging on this issue. All the MLRI and DTA materials to help you reach college students are (and will be) posted at the following webpage: Thanks to Risa for her terrific research on this project!!

2) Additional DTA policy guidance on SNAP community college policy change:

DTA's July 2010 Hotline Q and A has further details on the recent policy change. It reminds SNAP workers of all the exemptions for the SNAP student rule and that if a student meets the other criteria (e.g. receives work study, works part time or meets some other criteria), the student need not verify their course of study. (This may be especially true for students in private or 4 year colleges who receive work study). The guidance also states that the community college (CCE-1) form need not be completed if the student presents a signed letter on school letterhead. While we the form was designed to make it less burdensome for a college to complete, some students may prefer the privacy of getting their own letter from the school. Another kudos to DTA for issuing further clarifications on this policy.

REMINDER: Next Food SNAP Coalition meeting, Tuesday, July 27th from 10 to Noon, St Francis House in Boston. This is the LAST Coalition meeting of the summer until September!