senate resolution no.83

Senators Anthony, Shink, McMorrow, Klinefelt, Geiss, Chang, Bayer, Cavanagh and Santana offered the following resolution:

A resolution to urge the United States federal government to amend the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to simplify the college student exemptions to make aid more accessible for prospective and enrolled students who come from low-income families.

Whereas, Postsecondary credentials are and will continue to be essential for job seekers in the U.S. economy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that almost forty percent of jobs in the U.S. require education greater than a high school diploma, and this number is increasing; and

Whereas, Studies have estimated that between twenty and thirty-two percent of college students experience food insecurity while enrolled. Food-insecure students are more likely to drop out of college without completing a degree or certificate. In a 2020 study, a quarter of all students admitted that they had considered dropping out due to difficulty affording food, and one third said they knew someone who dropped out because of food insecurity; and

Whereas, SNAP is a federal program that provides resources for individuals and families who would otherwise be unable to afford enough food. Students are only eligible for SNAP if they are enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education and qualify for an exemption. Most students are not eligible for SNAPís current exemptions. This prevents students from participating in the program and receiving much needed food assistance; and

Whereas, Changing the eligibility requirements and ensuring SNAPís availability to food-insecure students would remove a critical barrier to postsecondary education, both for currently enrolled students and future students. Michiganís current educational attainment rate is just above fifty percent. Modernizing SNAP to remove food insecurity barriers to secondary education supports Michiganís goal to increase the number of Michigan residents with a postsecondary credential to sixty percent by 2030; and

Whereas, The provision of food assistance could improve higher education outcomes that lead to family-sustaining wages and a strong economy. Given the demand from employers and state efforts to create a skilled workforce, keeping the current SNAP eligibility restrictions will continue to hamper college graduation rates and economic growth; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate, That we urge the United States federal government to amend the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to simplify the college student exemptions to make aid more accessible for prospective and enrolled students who come from low-income families; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States; Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; Senator Gary Peters; and the members of the Michigan congressional delegation.