ALESTLE VIEW: Some students also need food stamps | Opinion

Food stamps are a hot button problem in the United States. On almost all of the major news networks, social services like this one in America are often cited as being ‘too left’, and have caused the concept of “queens of well-being”, which is totally false and based on negative stereotypes.

Regardless of these negative stereotypes, many people, including staff here at The Alestle, grew up eating the proverbial government cheese. Again, despite these stereotypes, some of us are proud of it. We wear the badge of our government support as proof that it is beneficial.

Once students reach college age, however, and must begin to fend for themselves, problems quickly arise. Illinois Legal Aid Online The website says there are simple guidelines for students and the benefits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), such as a workweek of at least 20 hours, and require other conditions.

However, some of the guidelines are much less understandable. He says students must also be under 18 or over 50 and be responsible for the care of a child between the ages of 6 and 12. There are a lot of students at SIUE, as well as other colleges in the state, where there are a lot of students who don’t fall within these guidelines, but still live on their own and need financial support. .

Food stamps are usually not even part of the main talk when it comes to college and economics students in this country. This debate generally focuses on the price of tuition fees and university debt. As we recently discovered, President Joe Biden changed his plans for student debt. Biden appears unwilling to do what he had previously promised – $ 100,000 in canceled student debt per person. So, if it’s no longer on the table, why not help students financially in another way?

In 2019, the American Psychological Association (APA) found that one in three students cannot financially meet their basic needs. And with 90 percent of students in the United States are under 24, this means that 90 percent of students in the United States are not immediately eligible to receive financial aid in Illinois. Thus, it is almost certain that one in three students who cannot meet their basic needs financially will overlap the 90 percent who cannot receive SNAP benefits in Illinois.

SIUE does a good job of supporting students who are already in need of financial aid, with organizations and help from Cougar Wardrobe, which is a pantry on campus. There isn’t much that Cougar Cupboard can do, however. They only allow customer visits once a month.

We appreciate that SIUE is doing what they can, and since they obviously do not control federal or state guidelines for SNAP, this is not intended for them. Perhaps a change is coming from those who can give it to us in this area. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021.

In a statement issued in March of this year, SIUE said this means SNAP benefits are now available to students without an estimated family contribution on their FAFSA for the current year and / or students eligible for the work-study program. This change expired in June of this year, but I hope this trend continues and more changes occur.

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