SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Nicholas Smith, D-Chicago, is sponsoring legislation requiring colleges to notify students who are eligible to receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

“Many college students face tough choices between paying bills, purchasing school supplies, or buying food,” said Smith. “Students who are working hard deserve to have assistance while they continue their education. Students should not have to choose between furthering their education versus putting food on the table.”

Smith’s Senate Bill 1641 would require institutions of higher education to notify students who are eligible for SNAP benefits and other need-based grants. While most full-time students aged 18 to 49 are not eligible to receive SNAP benefits, there are exceptions including if they work at least 20 hours a week or are the primary caretaker for a dependent 5 years of age or younger. Smith, a strong advocate for college affordability and access, introduced similar legislation earlier this session in the House.

“Students who must work hard to support themselves or others need to know the options available to them to help them achieve their goals,” said Smith. “We need to expand opportunities to help more people attend college and provide for themselves and their families.”

Rep Nicholas SmithRep Nicholas Smith

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