Appendix: Connecting Community College Students to SNAP

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By Ashley Burnside and Parker Gilkesson of CLASP, and Patricia Baker from MLRI 

Food Stamp work requirements for college students date back to the 1960s and ‘70s when public perception fueled the belief that students from middle- and upper-income families, who should support them, were taking advantage of government. This was coupled with a belief that students had made themselves “voluntarily idle” by removing themselves from the workforce. The initial rules restricting college student access to Food Stamps were included in the Amendments to the Food Stamp Act of 1964, where Congress disqualified students claimed as tax dependents. This tax dependency disqualification was ultimately deemed unconstitutional, but Congress remained intent on restricting government food benefits for college students.

This appendix details the legislative and regulatory history of restricting student access to SNAP.