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OPINION: SNAP Program necessary for college students

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Shoppers peruse the dairy department for their weekly groceries at Ralph’s in Riverside, Ca on April 5, 2020. (Stephen Day | Viewpoints)
By Kathya Sagrero

California’s SNAP Program, CalFresh, has provided great help to college students throughout the past two years.

 In January 2021, the government offered COVID-19 Public Health Emergency program. This allowed students that did not meet the requirements for CalFresh in the past to qualify.

According to the Department of Social Services,  the temporary student rules of requirement for CalFresh will end on June 10, 2023. Going back to the initial requirements before COVID-19 means that many college students will no longer qualify for CalFresh or will need to provide additional information to keep their benefits. 

County officials say to apply now before benefits begin to tighten around the county. The CalFresh application states a qualifying student could get up to $281 a month to pay for groceries.

Support for college students is very important being that they are the future of our economy. 

With the inflation that we are all experiencing, reducing the number of students that qualify for these benefits will hurt tremendously. 

Some students work while going to school. This aid will help them work less so they can  finish their degree faster and obtain their desired job. 

Groceries have gotten more and more expensive after the pandemic. Transportation, monthly rent and personal expenses will become insurmountable without this assistance. 

Even though many students qualify for FAFSA, these benefits are only enough for tuition and books. This help is essential to students because many of them can not count on their family’s financial support. Most families are also struggling to make ends meet. 

Continuing to make these benefits accessible to college students will pay off in the near future. By helping college students with one less worry, which in this case is food, students would be able to focus on their education and obtain a higher paying job sooner than later. 

 After COVID-19 we were left with many uncertainties. The financial help that came from the government throughout that time is still needed. We continue to need that financial help. 

Students deserve government programs that help them get through college years without so much stress. 

Basic student needs, such as tuition, books and living expenses have only gotten more expensive over time.

Instead of having more benefits at the end of their career, students are left with a huge debt to pay off.

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