More students eligible for food benefits

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The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) has expanded its eligibility criteria for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which offers food benefits to low-income individuals and families. 

What’s changing?

Starting this term, students who meet income guidelines may be eligible for SNAP if they can link their education plans to a future job when meeting with their DHS worker. The student must be enrolled in a four-year program or less, including certificate or short-term training programs. 

The student’s career plan can change in the future, but DHS must understand the link between the student’s education and career plans. If the student fulfills this requirement, they do not need to meet other work qualifications.

How else can a student qualify? 

If a student doesn’t meet the new requirement, there are still other ways to qualify:

  • Be awarded work study – a student does not need to have a position secured when they apply, but they must intend to find a position in the coming school term
  • Work an average of 20 hours a week, can be self-employed or a paid employee
  • Unable to work due to physical or physiological difficulties, a note from a counselor, advisor, medical professional, or student support services may be required
  • Responsible for the care of a child, age requirements apply
  • Receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Receive unemployment compensation

Click here to learn more about SNAP. 

What other services does Chemeketa offer for these students?

Students who receive SNAP, and are not enrolled in TANF, may receive other benefits through Chemeketa’s SNAP Training & Employment Program (STEP). 

Through STEP, students can receive personalized coaching and advising, tuition assistance and funding for items such as tools or books. More information on STEP, as well as a full list of benefits, can be found here

Any student in need is also welcome to visit Chemeketa’s food pantries, located on the Salem and Yamhill Valley campuses.