For this SNAP challenge I definitely feel like it’s going to give me a wakeup call. I am remembering the stories that my mom told me about when she lived in the Philippines. Her family was poor, and so between all her siblings she really got the least amount of food since she was the oldest. She looked out for her family and she helped provide for them. I remember being told the stories and feeling very guilty. But then after a while I would just forget about it. I dearly think this is on a very small scale in comparison to what my mother had to go through, but it would definitely give me some insight. I mean we all find things in common when we each go out of our way to look at the other person’s life through our own lens. I think that this will be a very eye-opening experience. I can tell and even just typing this out I realize how much different my life is compared to my parents.
I think is because on SNAP there is a consideration if you are an immigrant and if you are a citizen of the United States to be able to be eligible. My dad came here when he was four years old and my mom came when she was 25. I definitely see that as a college student I’m supposed to be the product of the hard work that they have done for me and my sister. My sister is also now in college, and we both have meal plans and live on campus. It is very convenient for us to get food, and it always has been convenient for us. My parents were able to provide food for me all the time whenever I needed it. I think going through this it is such an interesting experience when other people from outside the US, like in the Philippines, see that having a college education and finding a job here in the US just seems like you’re set.
As I do more research on this topic of SNAP and college students it is so hard to just find your next meal. There is food insecurity for all types of people in lower and middle class. We as a society associate college with making it and being somewhat stable enough to get an education, and so it really has given me perspective. I need to go out of my way to learn more about this.
To be honest, I knew of SNAP, but I did not know the specifics of. I knew Trump wanted to cut back on SNAP, but nothing more. I decided to see what SNAP would like for a college student
SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutritional Assistant Program. It is paid through Electronic Benefit Transfer cards to be used to buy food. The maximum monthly amount for a household of 1 is $192/ month. SNAP cannot used to buy prepared food such as fast food or takeout pizza. That is something college students are so used to. SNAP cannot be used to pay for college cafeteria meal plans. What I also thought was interesting was that students who live in dorms and receive more than half their meals from a meal plan are not eligible for benefits. Since UMW you need a meal plan to live on campus none of us would be eligible for SNAP.
This is how a student could be eligible for :
- Age or disability status;
- Parent or caregiver;
- Employed at least 20 hours per week or receiving any work-study funds;
- Receiving TANF benefits; or
- Enrolled in certain programs aimed at employment.
What I also thought was interesting is what counts as a SNAP household.
A SNAP household is a group of people who live together and buy and prepare meals together.
- If roommates buy and prepare at least half their meals together, they count as a SNAP household and must apply together
- Special rules apply when one or more members of a household are ineligible, such as because of their immigration status, or because they are students and do not meet one of the student exemptions.
I never really put much thought into the fact that a SNAP household could be a college apartment. I do see many college students (including myself) go out without thinking about how much money they will spend on food. I am pretty frugal, but when it comes to food it is more of a social gathering. I am willing to invest money in food. I think if someone did not know when their next meal their college experience would be very different. I do not usually go out without a purpose, but the fact that I am able to do even no think twice about it is a privilege. Let us start the week!
CLASP. (n.d.). CLASP SNAP for College Students. Retrieved from https://www.clasp.org/sites/default/files/publications/2017/10/SNAP%20for%20College%20Students-An%20Overview.pdf