Snaps for good food, please

Students are encouraged to apply for SNAP to help pay for groceries.

Anika Besst, Senior Reporter

As of this February, Hamline has begun a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) referral program with Second Harvest Heartland (SHH). 

This is different from Hamline’s Food Resource Center, as SNAP is a financial support system that helps supplement an individual’s grocery budget. 

SNAP has existed before but due to COVID-19, eligibility requirements have changed for SNAP. Students are encouraged to reach out to Sophia Brown, Food Resource Center coordinator, with any questions since no financial situation is the same. 

The U of M recently started a similar referral program, which Hamline adopted. Brown worked to establish the connection over the past few months. 

“The U of M just started the same thing, that is where we got the idea, a referral program. Because they also found that 50%-ish of their students are eligible but hardly any of them were using SNAP, and since the U of M is huge they were like, ‘we have so many students that could be using this,’” said Brown. “Hamline is smaller but half of our students, I believe, are probably eligible so I would love to see more students apply and receive the benefits.”

There is a survey attached to an email students received on Feb. 9. After completing that, students will receive an email with further instructions about whether they are eligible and how to contact SHH, whose email address is included in the confirmation. 

From there, the SHH SNAP Outreach Staff contacts the student to both screen and assist students. The application is then sent to the county where it is reviewed, the student is interviewed and it is approved or denied. 

“Once we receive a referral from a student, we hope to connect with the student within five business days. Depending on the number of referrals we receive, it could be quicker or longer,” said Ma Lee-Chritz from SHH. “It is important that students check their emails and/or their voicemails; we will usually email students first since we have learned that most respond quicker that way.”

Research was conducted fall of 2020 and it revealed students are struggling to keep clean at Hamline. With this information, the Food Resource Center has begun to offer hygiene and personal products such as shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, deodorant, menstrual products, toothbrush and toothpaste, pregnancy tests, masks and hand sanitizer. 



U.S. citizenship, green card holder for at least 5 years, refugee or asylee status

Earn less than $1,755 gross a month (amount increases with additional household members)

Additionally, identifying as one of the following: 

Individual works a work study job on campus (or has been offered federal/state work study funding in your financial aid letter this academic year due to covid-19)

Have an expected Family contribution (EFC) of $0 

Working at least 20 hours per week at any job

Are physically or mentally unable to work

Are responsible for the care of a child under the age of 6 who lives with them, or are under the age of 18 or over the age of 50. 

To take the SNAP survey visit

Students with any questions can email Sophia Brown at