MLRI is working with uAspire and other national and state organizations to secure broad support in an organizational sign on letter for two federal bills that will permanently allow more students to access SNAP benefits. This organizational sign on letter urges House Education and Agriculture leaders to support students' food security by eliminating or alleviating the SNAP college student “work for food” rules that create significant barriers for students to access basic needs, such as food, while trying to complete their education.
· The Enhanced Access To SNAP (EATS) Act of 2021 filed by US Rep Gomez (D-CA) and Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) (H.R. 1919 /S. 2515) would eliminate the SNAP "student rule" that requires 20 hours per week of wage work on top of college coursework for those with demonstrated financial need pursuing a degree at least half-time.
· The Student Food Security Act (H.R.3100/ S. 1569) filed by US Senator Warren (D-MA) and US Rep Hayes (D-CT) would permanently exempt students from the SNAP work rules if they have an expected family contribution (EFC) of $0, are eligible for work study or receive a full Pell (it would make permanent the temporary COVID exemptions that Congress authorized last December).
Passage of either or both bills would be a HUGE step forward.
September is national Hunger Action month and the House Budget committee hosted a hearing on College Student Hunger this week. National leaders from uAspire, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Swipe Out Hunger and The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice have urged Congress to pass the EATS Act and Student Food Security Act. We hope you’ll join MLRI and our sister orgs in this effort and share the sign-on widely amongst your networks.
The deadline to sign-on is midnight your local time on Sunday, September 19
Just a quick reminder, here’s a link to the current SNAP student rules for Massachusetts students. The special COVID exemptions will sunset once the federal public health declaration expires.
REMINDER: SNAP Coalition Special Meeting tomorrow, September 14th starting at 10 AM with FNS NERO presentation and other important updates.