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Gillibrand presses for permanent SNAP expansion for college students

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of N.Y.
Susan Walsh
/
AP
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of N.Y.

Last year’s federal COVID-19 relief package provided temporary food assistance for low-income college students. Now, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wants to make the program permanent.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, helps low income families purchase healthy food. Before the pandemic, eligible college students would have to put in 20 hours of work study or other employment to qualify.

Gillibrand has introduced a bill that would permanently eliminate the “work for food” requirement. She said that would make almost 300,000 college students across New York eligible for SNAP benefits.

The nonprofit food pantry Long Island Cares estimated that food insecurity in Nassau and Suffolk counties increased 60% last year due to the pandemic.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.