The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal program that provides individuals and families with financial support that can be used to purchase a variety of foods. Students enrolled in at least six credits may be eligible for SNAP if they meet specific income requirements and other criteria. The maximum SNAP benefit that can be received is $250/month.
Ways to Use Your SNAP Benefits
Double Up Food Bucks
While SNAP benefits can be used for many food items, Double Up Food Bucks can only purchase fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, beans, herbs, nuts, and veggie starts. The Lane County Farmers Market, among others, allows SNAP participants to get more bang for their buck!
Agate Street Market
Located in Unthank Hall, Agate Street Market will accept SNAP benefits. SNAP can be used to purchase any food products in Agate Street Market, including packaged salads, sandwiches, wraps, products, and snacks.
Ordering Food Online
You can now use SNAP benefits to order food online through Amazon and Walmart for home delivery across Oregon. Albertsons, Roth's Fresh Markets, Safeway, and Whole Foods also accept online SNAP payments.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is SNAP?
SNAP (also known as Oregon Trail Card and EBT) is the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. Those eligible for SNAP can receive up to $250/month for a one-person household. After applying, you will receive a plastic electronic benefits card reloaded each month, which works like a debit card.
Am I eligible for SNAP?
To be eligible, you must be:
- 18 years or older
- A US citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Not exceed the income threshold for your household size
Students of higher education have special criteria. What is it?
Students of higher education must be:
- Between the ages of 18 and 49
- Enrolled at least half-time. (six credits for undergrads, five credits for grad students)
I heard there was something special for undergrads applying for SNAP. What is that requirement?
Undergraduate students may qualify for SNAP by pursuing a bachelor's degree that will prepare them for a job after graduation. To be eligible for this requirement, you must have a declared major; you must have a job you are working towards and be able to explain how your major is preparing you for this job. This means that you plan to enter the workforce after you graduate and not enter a professional school like graduate school, med school, or law school. However, you might be planning on attending med school a year after you graduate and intend to work as a medical scribe for that year. You are good to go if you can explain how that job relates to your current major!
These are the other ways to qualify (for graduate students and undergraduates who do not fit the prior criteria):
- Be awarded work-study–a student does not need a position secured when they apply, but a student needs to intend to find a job in the coming school term.
- Working and getting paid for 20 hours a week or 80 hours a month (NOTE: unpaid internships do not count towards this requirement)
- Unable to work due to physiological difficulties
- Exerting parental control over a dependent household member under the age of 6 OR between the age of 6 and 12 with no adequate childcare (as determined by the county) OR being a single parent of a dependent household member under the age of 12
- Participating in a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) approved program.
- Receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Receiving unemployment compensation
Other Factors Affecting Eligibility
- Students under 22 who still live with their parents or guardians must apply with their parents or guardians.
- If a student's meal plan pays for more than 51% of their weekly meals, they are not eligible for SNAP. If the meal plan pays for less than half of a student's meals per week, receiving a meal plan will not affect a student's eligibility for SNAP. Students with dietary restrictions that prohibit them from accessing more than 51% of their meals might also qualify for SNAP.
- Financial aid received through the Veterans Administration or private scholarships counts as income.
- Students on break from school must still meet the criteria for which they are eligible for SNAP (i.e., if you qualify by working 20 hours a week, you'd need to keep doing this over summer break).
Note: federal financial aid, including Pell grants, Perkins loans, Stafford loans, and most work-study, is not counted as income against student eligibility so long as it is used for educational expenses. Students may defer federal student loan payments while receiving SNAP benefits without incurring interest charges.
What can I buy with my SNAP benefits? And where can I use it?
SNAP benefits can be used at grocery stores to purchase fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, pantry staples, snack foods, seeds, and plants. SNAP can also be used at farmers' markets participating in the Double Up Food Bucks program. SNAP benefits can also be used to order food online through retailers and grocery stores, such as Safeway, Albertsons, Whole Foods, Amazon, and Walmart. Lastly, SNAP can purchase any food items at Agate Street Market on campus.
What can I NOT buy?
Prepared food ready for consumption, along with beer, liquor, wine, cigarettes, tobacco, vitamins, medicine, supplements, live animals, and nonfood items such as pet food, cleaning supplies, other household items like paper products, and personal hygiene products. See the complete list of what you can and cannot buy with SNAP.
How do I apply for SNAP benefits?
Applying online is the easiest and quickest way to complete a SNAP application! Learn about the application process. These are the pieces of information you will need to share:
- A form of identification such as a driver license, passport number, or birth certificate
- Social Security Number
- Immigration status
- Proof of income for the last 30 days (such as check stubs)
- Housing information, such as your rent amount
- Cost of your utilities
- Financial aid information (if you are a student)
Learn more about the application process.
Campus basic needs coordinators are available to answer any questions about the SNAP application process. You can even schedule an appointment to complete the SNAP application by filling out the Basic Needs Assistance Form.
How can I get help with my SNAP application?
If you are interested in how to apply to SNAP (or learn more about other food security resources), trained volunteers are available to chat and help you apply for SNAP.
The Duck Nest also has SNAP drop-in hours during the academic year. SNAP drop-in hours are not available over the summer terms.
For additional remote assistance, you can email the Duck Nest at email@example.com or connect with the Basic Needs Program to schedule a Zoom appointment with a peer advisor. Please follow the Duck Nest (uo_ducknest) and the Basic Needs Program (uo_basicneeds) on Instagram to stay current.
What are the next steps after applying?
You can schedule an interview in in-person or on the phone. You will receive a call from the Department of Human Services 1-2 business days after submitting your application to schedule an interview. Try to answer the phone when they call (it will come from a 503 number if applying in Oregon).
What documents should I bring to my interview/send to my DHS worker?
It would help if you were prepared to send/bring proof of all essential documents such as photo ID, Social Security card, proof of earned income such as pay stubs, rent receipts or the first page of your lease, utility receipts, and financial aid awards with your name displayed on the page.
When do I get my benefits?
Oregon sends out benefits between the 1st and 9th of every month based on the last digit of your Social Security Number (SSN).
How do I keep my benefits?
The benefits enrollment period for most Oregon households is 6 – 12 months. You have to renew your benefits before your certification period ends. You will receive a letter when it is time to reapply.
What is my household size?
A household is the number of people who buy and prepare food together. Most college students apply as a household of one, even if they have roommates. Unless you regularly purchase and prepare food with another person (like a partner or child with whom you share finances), your household size should be one (1).
What household/income changes do I have to report, and when?
You should report the following:
- If anyone moves in or out of your household
- Financial changes like income, rent, savings, or child support
- Work changes. Does your household include an adult who doesn't have a disability or a child (what the government calls an ABAWD)? Is this person required to work or train 20 hours/per week? Then you should report if this person starts working or training less than 20 hours/week.
Most households have to report all changes up to 10 days after they happen, but some don't. Your caseworker can confirm which rules apply to your household.
If you are moving, you should report your new address as soon as possible to ensure you get all the critical letters.
You can report changes by bringing or sending a change report form to your local office.
What if I graduate?
As long as you still meet the income eligibility criteria, you will still be eligible for SNAP.
I lost my card. How can I get a new one?
Do not wait to report a lost or stolen card! Call the toll-free Oregon Trail Card Replacement Line at 1-855-328-6715 to request a replacement card if your card is lost or stolen on a weekday during business hours. Replacement cards are sent by mail and typically arrive within five business days.
Call the toll-free Oregon EBT Customer Service Help Line at 1-888-997-4447 to cancel your card and protect your remaining benefits if your card is lost or outside regular business hours. You must make a second call to the toll-free Oregon Trail Card Replacement line at 1-855-328-6715 to be sent a new card. The Help Line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.