Published: May 23, 2023
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The Basic Needs Center can now directly enroll students in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in partnership with Hunger Free Colorado. SNAP is a federally funded program that provides qualifying students with direct cash assistance for food. To qualify, students must be between the ages of 18 and 49, identify as full-time students and meet other eligibility requirements. This is an exciting change in how students can access food assistance. 

Simplifying the application process can empower students to seek help with food insecurity. By working with the Basic Needs Center, students can determine whether they meet the criteria to qualify and ensure accuracy in the application process. 

“These changes are good for the university because students have better safeguards. It’s challenging to succeed as a student when you face food insecurity. We hope to destigmatize and legitimize the experience of food insecurity and help students to feel less isolated and alone,” said Maddie Atuire, Feed the Stampede senior coordinator. 

The application process

To apply for SNAP assistance through the Basic Needs Center, fill out the SNAP Assistance Request Form. You will then receive a meeting confirmation email for an initial meeting with a member of the Basic Needs Center team. During that meeting, the team will review the eligibility requirements with you and answer any questions you have about the program.

If it is likely that you will qualify, the team will schedule a second meeting to complete the application. You will receive support throughout the application process. The Basic Needs Center can also work with you to recertify your SNAP benefits, make changes to your existing SNAP case and troubleshoot issues or delays with your case.

Program limitations

While SNAP assistance is an excellent program for many students, not all students qualify. SNAP is only available to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. International and undocumented students cannot apply for SNAP but may qualify for other food assistance programs. Also, most first-year students who live on campus do not qualify because a majority of meals cannot come from a campus meal plan.

If you are unsure if you qualify for SNAP, you can still schedule a meeting with the Basic Needs Center. Even if you are not currently eligible, the Basic Needs Center can connect you to other programs for food assistance. Also, there is no penalty for applying for SNAP and no waiting period to apply again if you do not currently qualify.

While SNAP is the only assistance program that the Basic Needs Center can apply to on a student’s behalf, staff can make referrals to other programs and resources, like WIC, Colorado LEAP, etc.

Connect with the Basic Needs Center

The Basic Needs Center works to connect CU Boulder students with basic needs resources. They continue to add resources and programs, including the new SNAP application process. 

Students, faculty and staff can also refer students to the Basic Needs Center by completing the Student Support and Case Management referral form.