HONOLULU (KHON2) — Nearly 8,000 students at the University of Hawaii may now be eligible to apply for food stamps as part of December’s COVID-19 relief package.

According to a news release on Tuesday, March 2, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has been expanded as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) 2021. The relief package temporarily removes some eligibility requirements, which allows college students easier access to the program. The Department of Human Services’ Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division administers the program in Hawaii.

“It is so important to our students’ well-being that they have the basic necessities they need to learn and thrive. We know that we have thousands of UH students with an estimated family contribution of zero. We urge them and other students who may qualify for this important expanded assistance to reach out for guidance from their respective campuses.”

UH President David Lassner

There are new exemptions to the regular federal criteria for students to be eligible for SNAP support for food, which includes having an expected family contribution of $0 as determined by the U.S. Department of Education when students submit their financial aid application. In addition, students eligible for Federal Work Study are also now eligible for SNAP without work requirement.

For more information about the SNAP assistance, contact the following:

  • UH Community Colleges: HINET System Office at snap@hawaii.edu or (808) 235-7348.
  • UH Manoa: Student Parents At Manoa (SP@M) (Note: You do not need to be a student parent to receive assistance.)
  • UH Hilo: Campus and Community Services, (808) 932-7796, uhhccs@hawaii.edu
  • UH West Oahu: Jan Javinar, interim vice chancellor of student affairs, (808) 689-2671, javinar@hawaii.edu

Under the CAA, 3 million more students nationwide have become eligible for assistance, according to estimates by The Century Foundation.