Unseen, unfed: Seeking help


Ryan Ash

A local man places mangos into his cart as a student volunteer smiles at the Wesley Food Pantry, 1203 W. Green St., on Feb. 20.

By Zainab Qureshi, Staff Writer

Taylor Chism, senior in FAA, was on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program program during her sophomore and junior years but was no longer eligible after her job wages increased to $11 an hour. Kenji Pantin, recent doctoral graduate in LAS, made $18,000 a year from teaching at the University, and also applied for SNAP when she first came here but was denied due to her income.

Students at four-year universities are eligible for the SNAP program if they are under 18 years old as well as if they are over the age of 50, work approximately 20 hours a week or work a federal work-study approved job along with other instances regarding family situations, according to their website. The University must notify you if you are eligible to apply, but without University notification, an individual is unable to gain access to SNAP benefits. For Chism, she isn’t able to work the 20 hours due to school, so the amount of money she earns isn’t enough to cover groceries and bills.

Chism is receiving some financial help from her family now, but there were days where she ate less to ensure she would have enough food for the upcoming week. On school days, she often waited until dinner to eat. This left her feeling frustrated and unfocused.