The CSULB Comfort Retailer is now accepting SNAP and EBT playing cards to assist low-income college students. • Lengthy Seaside Publish Information

Cal State Moncton (CSULB) officials continued efforts to further meet the needs of low-income students and yesterday announced a new partnership with the state’s EBT / SNAP programs.

Students participating in these programs can use their EBT and SNAP cards to purchase anything at the school’s Corner Market, located in the university’s student union and managed by the Forty-Niner shops. These include fresh fruit, sandwiches, snacks, supplies and over-the-counter medications, university officials said in a press release.

“Food and housing insecurity is a real challenge for a large number of our students,” said President Jane Close Conoley. “And it is important that we make resources available to those in need. This way we can ensure that students can achieve their academic goals. “

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – a federal assistance program – provides grocery shopping assistance to millions of eligible individuals and low-income families and provides economic benefits to communities. The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is an electronic system that allows a recipient to authorize the transfer of their government benefits from a federal account to a retail account in order to pay for the products received as per the USDA Food and Nutrition Services website.

The partnership was made possible through the CSULB Student Emergency Intervention and Wellness Program, which provides emergency grants, access to meals, and short-term emergency housing managed by the Office of the Student Dean.

In addition, research by Rashida Crutchfield, assistant professor at the CSULB School of Social Work, into food and housing instability across the California State University (CSU) system led to recommendations for best practice, according to university officials.

The results of Crutchfield’s studies assume that eight to 12 percent of CSU students are faced with housing insecurity, while 21 to 24 percent are food unsafe according to the university.

“CSULB’s Student Emergency Intervention and Wellness Program immediately identifies and serves some of these at-risk students and is one of the most comprehensive in the nation,” the university said in a press release. “Additional research shows that the number of students suffering from food insecurity and the challenges they face is growing, and CSULB continues to use best practices to improve success and help students graduate.”

Recently, university officials announced that CSULB has received a State Department of Social Services grant that will lead to CalFresh. CalFresh is part of the SNAP program and provides nutritional assistance to eligible individuals and low-income families. As part of public relations work, staff and interns on the School of Social Work’s Student Emergency Intervention and Wellness program are trained to help students and families complete paperwork and determine eligibility while they host contact events to raise awareness Sharpening services.

In late October, CSULB’s Associated Students, Inc. celebrated the opening of the ASI Beach Pantry, a pantry for food-insecure students.

Above left photo courtesy of 49er Shops.

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