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MA Dept of Higher Ed eblast to all MA college presidents re SNAP for students; and new social media tools

This morning the MA Dept of Higher Education shipped out the eblast below to all MA University and Community College presidents, which includes two of MLRI FAQs to help SNAP outreach partners and community orgs both understand the new COVID student exemptions as well as tips for talking with reluctant households into filling SNAP applications.  It also includes DHE Commissioner Santiago’s e-letter sent to students during February.  Anc check out this article from Inside Higher Education highlights the growth of food insecurity of students: Food Insecurity Among Students Continues During Pandemic

We have also created some social media infographics and fliers to help explain the new COVID SNAP exemptions  for college students.  Please distribute these broadly and feel free to modify for your own use.

Finally, we wanted to highlight that a couple of colleges have already shared articles about SNAP for students:

The Salem State article is based on a template our AmeriCorps Member, Aparna Raghu prepared for colleges to get the word out about SNAP for students during COVID. Feel free to email Aparna if you would like help developing any news articles to share with your local media or college newspapers to get the word out.    And more materials, including DTA's policy on students during COVID, is posted on our MLS webpage here: Food4Students

Finally - we have received a number of emails from colleges about some DTA workers asking students to get their colleges complete the EDUC-1 (this is DTA's Educational Income and Expense Form). SNAP workers should NOT be asking for this EDUC-1 form, nor for the community college form (CCE-1). These forms are absolutely not required. DTA Central has urged that folks flag these cases immediately and bring them to the attention of the Ombuds Office, Sara Craven or Roxanne Montgomery (while Sara is on vacation thru this week).

Next SNAP Coalition meeting, where you will learn more from DTA about the SNAP ET program, is Tuesday, March 9th!   And Look out for more SNAPpy updates including a new HIP Tool Finder tomorrow!

From: Commissioner Santiago <>
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 10:08 AM
To: DHE-DL - State University Presidents <>; DHE-DL - Community College Presidents <>; Meehan, Martin <>
Subject: Potential SNAP Benefit Eligibility For Students







TO:                  Community College Presidents

                        State University Presidents

                        Martin Meehan, President, University of Massachusetts

FROM:            Carlos E. Santiago, Commissioner


DATE:              February 24, 2021


SUBJECT:        Potential SNAP Benefit Eligibility for Students



The Department of Higher Education has been working with the Department of Transitional Assistance and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute to alert students to the increase in SNAP benefits and expanded eligibility made possible by the federal stimulus. A copy of the attached letter from me was sent earlier this month to all Massachusetts students who have an "Estimated Family Contribution" of $0 as determined through the FAFSA process.  


We want to make you aware that other students may also be eligible for SNAP benefits under new federal guidelines, including students who qualify for the maximum Pell grant or qualify for work-study. We urge staff at every institution to communicate with students about this potential benefit and assist them in applying for SNAP.  Attached are two reference documents that may help staff working with students to determine eligibility and submit applications for services. 


Thank you for your continued partnership as we seek to address all of our students' needs holistically. 


More information about SNAP eligibility is available at: