Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

What this resource is

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is one of the largest and most effective food assistance programs in the country and is one of the few benefits not restricted by family status or disability. SNAP provides financial assistance for purchasing food and groceries at supermarkets, farmers’ markets, and other approved stores. SNAP benefits are provided through an EBT card, which is used like a debit card.

While there have been restrictions placed on college students, there are a significant number of exceptions available. These include, but are not limited to;

  • Under age 18 or age 50 or older;
  • Parent caring for a child under age 6;
  • Single parent caring for a child under 12 years old and enrolled full-time;
  • Working for pay at least 20 hours per week;
  • Receiving any work-study funds

How to apply for this resource

NJ Helps provides free eligibility screening and applications for SNAP benefits. Screening typically takes about 5-10 minutes and the application takes about 20-45 minutes.

If you need assistance with the SNAP application or have additional questions, you can access an online directory of resources here.

Why this resource matters

An estimated 57% of students who are eligible for SNAP benefits do not receive them. SNAP allows households with limited resources to spend less money on food and grocery needs, which makes more funding available for other necessities.