SNAP Benefits (aka “Food Stamps” or “Oregon Trail”)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal program that provides individuals and families with financial support that can be used to purchase a variety of foods. Students enrolled in at least 8 credits may be eligible for SNAP if they meet certain income requirements and other criteria. Previous work requirements have changed! Visit Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon to review student SNAP eligibility requirements.
SNAP benefits are currently maximized, meaning all participants will receive the maximum amount (for a household of one, that’s $194/month) through June.
If students are eligible for SNAP, they are also automatically eligible for the Oregon Telephone Assistance Programs (Lifeline), a federal and state government program that reduces the monthly cost of phone or broadband service for qualifying low-income Oregon households. If you qualify you could be eligible to receive discounts on your phone and broadband bills or free cell phone and data service.
Applying for SNAP
Student Food Security Leaders will be offering in-person help for SNAP at the Student Food Pantry, Produce Drops, and on Thursday from 12-2 on the Fishbowl Terrace of the EMU.
For remote assistance, you can email the Duck Nest at email@example.com or the Student Sustainability Center at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a Zoom appointment with a peer advisor. . Please follow the Duck Nest and the SSC on social media to stay up to date.
COMING SOON: We will be installing a chat feature that allows for remote help.
You can also access these brief videos that go over eligibility guidelines for a few different types of students. Click the video that fits your situation and find out if you might be eligible for SNAP!
Video Guide to Virtually Applying for SNAP
Listen to Connor from the Duck Nest Wellness Center provide tips on how to apply for SNAP benefits without leaving your home!
Video Guide to Confusing SNAP Application Questions
Listen to Connor from the Duck Nest Wellness Center work through how to answer some of the most confusing questions on the online SNAP application. At the end, Connor will also answer some frequently asked questions such as: “If I’m an out-of-state student, am I eligible for SNAP in Oregon?” and “Do I have to report SNAP benefits on my taxes?”
Video Guide to Applying for SNAP for All Students with Work Study
Listen to Sofia from the Student Sustainability Center explain eligibility for students with a Federal Work Study award. This is the most straight forward category of eligibility; if you have a federal work study award, you are more than likely eligible!
Video Guide to Applying for SNAP for Undergraduates without Work Study
Listen to Sofia from the Student Sustainability Center explain eligibility for undergraduate students without a Federal Work Study award. While not as straightforward a category of eligibility, there is still a chance that you could receive assistance!
Video Guide to Applying for SNAP for Graduate Students without Work Study
Listen to Sofia from the Student Sustainability Center explain eligibility for graduate students without a Federal Work Study award. Although not as straightforward as other categories of eligibility, there is still a chance that you could receive assistance!
Video Guide to Applying for SNAP for Students with Families
Listen to Sofia from the UO Student Sustainability Center explain eligibility for students with families!
I Love SNAP Because . . .
Nervous about applying for SNAP? Not sure if it’s for you? Listen to students from the University of Oregon talk about why they love SNAP and why you should apply!
Double Up Food Bucks
The Lane County Farmers Market, and more allow SNAP participants to get more bang for their buck! For example, at Lane County Farmers Market, SNAP participants can receive $2 in Double Up Food Bucks for every $2 of SNAP benefits that they redeem at the participating farmers market, up to $10 matched each market day. While SNAP benefits can be used for many food items, Double Up Food Bucks can only be used to purchase fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, beans, herbs, nuts, and veggie starts. Check out this map to get more information about participating farmers markets.
WIC (Women, Infants, and Children)
WIC provides finances for pregnant women, new mothers, young children, and others to purchase certain foods. Recipients must meet certain eligibility requirements. You can use this prescreening tool to see if you are eligible for WIC benefits.
What is SNAP?
SNAP (also known as Oregon Trail Card and EBT) is the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. Those who are eligible for SNAP can receive up to $194/month per household. After applying, you will receive a plastic electronic benefits card that is reloaded each month and works just like a debit card.
Am I eligible for SNAP?
To be eligible you must be:
- 18 years or older
- A U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident
- Not exceed income threshold of $1,926 a month
Students of higher education have special criteria, what is it?
Students of higher education must be
- Between the ages of 18 and 49
- Enrolled at least half time. (6 credits for undergrads, 5 credits for grad students)
I heard there was something special for undergrads applying for SNAP. What is that requirement?
Undergraduate students may qualify for SNAP by pursuing a bachelors’ degree that will prepare them for a job after they graduate. In order to qualify with this requirement, you must have a declared major, you must have a job you are working towards and be able to explain how your major is preparing you for this job. This means that you plan to enter the workforce after you graduate and not enter a professional school like graduate school, med school, or law school. However, you might be planning on going to med school a year after you graduate, and you plan to work as a medical scribe for that year. If you can explain how that job relates to your current major, then you are good to go!!
These are the other ways to qualify (for graduate students and undergraduates who do not fit the prior criteria):
- Be approved for federal or state work study, anticipates working and have not refused a work assignment (can still be eligible if your work study has not begun or is not available for any reason)
- Working and getting paid for 20 hours a week or 80 hours a month. Unpaid internships do not count towards this, nor do under-the-counter jobs.
- Unable to work due to physiological difficulties
- Exerting parental control over a dependent household member under the age of 6 OR between the age of 6 and 12 with no adequate childcare (as determined by the county) OR be a single parent of a dependent household member under the age of 12
- Participating in a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) approved program
- Receiving TANF
- Receiving Unemployment Compensation
Other Factors Affecting Eligibility
- Students under the age of 22 who still live with their parents or guardians must apply with their parents or guardians
- If a student’s meal plan pays for more than 51% of their meals per week than they are not eligible for SNAP. If the meal plan pays for less than half of a student’s meals per week, receiving a meal plan will not affect a student’s eligibility for SNAP. Students with dietary restrictions that prohibit them from accessing more than 51% of their meals might also qualify for SNAP.
- (This factor is less important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as DHS workers understand that many dining halls are not open
- Financial aid received through the Veterans Administration or private scholarships count as income.
- Students on break from school must still meet the criteria for which they are eligible for SNAP (i.e. if you qualify by working 20 hours a week, you’d need to keep doing this over summer break).
Note: federal financial aid including Pell grants, Perkins loans, Stafford loans and most work-study is not counted as income against student eligibility so long as it used for educational expenses. Students may defer federal student loan payments while receiving SNAP benefits without incurring interest charges.
What can I buy with my SNAP benefits? And where can I use it?
SNAP benefits can be used at any grocery store to purchase fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, pantry staples, snacking food, seeds and plants. Additionally, SNAP can be used at participating farmers markets to purchase fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, beans, herbs, nuts, and veggie starts. Many farmers markets (including the Lane County Farmers Market) allow SNAP participants to receive $2 in Double Up Food Bucks for every $2 of SNAP Benefits redeemed, for up to $10 additional dollars each market day!
What can I NOT buy?
Prepared food ready for consumption, along with beer, liquor, wine, cigarettes, tobacco, vitamins, medicine, supplements, live animals, and nonfood items such as pet food, cleaning supplies, other household items like paper products, and personal hygiene products.
How do I apply for SNAP Benefits?
Applying online is the easiest and quickest way to complete a SNAP application! Google “Oregon SNAP Application” (if applying in the state of Oregon) and fill out the application to the best of your ability. There are the pieces of information you will need to share:
- A form of identification such as a drivers license, passport number or birth certificate
- Social security number
- Immigration status
- Earned income
- Housing information such as your rent amount
- Cost of your utilities
- Financial aid information (if you are a student)
The Food Security Coordinator (email@example.com) is always available to answer any questions about the SNAP application process.
Check out Conner’s video above for a more detailed review of how to apply for SNAP online!
What are the next steps after applying?
You will receive a call from the Department of Human Services 1-2 business days after submitting your application to schedule an interview. Try your best to answer the phone when they call (it will come from a 503 number if applying in Oregon). You can schedule an interview for in-person or on the phone.
What documents should I bring to my interview/send to my DHS worker?
You should be prepared to send/bring proof of all important documents such as photo ID, Social Security card, proof of earned income such as pay stubs, rent receipts or the first page of your lease, utility receipts, and financial aid awards with your name displayed on the page.
When do I get my benefits?
Oregon sends out benefits between the 1st to the 9th of every month, based on the last digit of your Social Security Number (SSN).
How do I keep my benefits?
You have to renew your benefits before your certification period ends. For most Oregon households, that period is 6 – 12 months. You will get a letter in the mail when it is time to reapply.
What is my household size?
A household is the number of people who buy and prepare food together. Most college students apply as a household of one, even if you have roommates. Unless you regularly purchase and prepare food with another person (like a partner or child that you share finances with) your household size should be one (1).
What household/income changes do I have to report and when?
You should report:
- If anyone moves in or out of your household
- Financial changes like income, rent, savings, or child support
- Work changes. Does your household include an adult who doesn’t have a disability or a child (what the government calls an ABAWD)? Is this person required to work or train 20 hours/week? Then you should report if this person starts working or training less than 20 hours/week.
Most households have to report all changes no more than 10 days after they happen, but some don’t. Your caseworker can confirm which rules apply to your household.
If you are moving, you should report your new address ASAP to make sure you don’t miss any important letters.
You can report changes by bringing or sending this form to your local office.
What if I graduate?
As long as you are still under the income criteria, you most likely will still be eligible for SNAP.
I lost my card. How can I get a new one?
Don’t wait to report a lost or stolen card! If your card is lost or stolen on a weekday during business hours, call the toll-free Oregon Trail Card Replacement Line at 1-855-328-6715 to request a replacement card. This line is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Replacement cards are sent by mail and typically arrive within five business days.
If your card is lost or outside of regular business hours, call the toll-free Oregon EBT Customer Service Help Line at 1-888-997-4447 to cancel your card and protect your remaining benefits. The Help Line is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week. You will need to make a second call to the toll-free Oregon Trail Card Replacement line at 1-855-328-6715 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to be sent a new card.
What if I am not eligible for SNAP Benefits?
Check out the other food security resources listed below! Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more information on food security resources.
Location: The Student Food Pantry HAS MOVED to 710 E. 17th Ave, Eugene, OR 97401 – Please note the new location! | Phone: 541-913-9114
Hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Only for college students. Students may come once a week. Bring your student ID and a bag for food.
The Student Food Pantry—a ministry of the Episcopal Campus Ministry in Eugene and a partner agency with Food for Lane County—is open to all college students in the greater Eugene area. Founded in 2011, the pantry provides free supplemental food for college students. Depending upon availability, this may include canned fruits and vegetables, frozen vegetables and fresh vegetables; bread, rice, pasta and cereal; canned beans, soups and other protein sources; dairy products, frozen meats and meat substitutes. Additional quantities are given to students with children.
Produce Drop – RESUMES 10/6/2020 – Now Every Tuesday
Hours: Every Tuesday of the academic term, 3-5pm.
Location: EMU Amphitheater, rain or shine
Bring: Mask; Student ID; Bag for your produce
Produce Drops are like a pop-up farmer’s stand, but everything is free to eligible students and their families. There’s no enrollment or sign-up. Just come and fill a bag with what you need.
The Produce Drops occur every Tuesday of the academic term. Questions? Want to get involved and help run these programs? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hearth & Table– RESUMES 10/6/2020
Location: Central Lutheran Church, 1857 Potter St (right by campus)
Hours: Thursdays, 5 p.m. – 6p.m.
Hearth & Table is restarting Tuesday, October 6th and will run again the full term. They are transitioning to a meal pick-up model, with the pick-up window being 5-6pm. We are still offering completely free, chef-prepared, delicious and nutritious weekly meals, and are exploring creative ways to continue cooking education and community-building. Details available at begoodsoil.org/hearthandtable and @goodsoilcampusministry on IG.
The Ducks Feeding Ducks program provides a transfer of $10 into a student’s Duck Bucks account if they meet specific criteria. The funds are to be used within one week at any campus food venue that accepts Duck Bucks.
International Students Lunch– TEMPORARILY ON HOLD DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC; CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES
International students and allies are invited to come to a free lunch every Wednesday from 11:30-12:30PM at the Alpha Omega House (1332 Kincaid St, Eugene, OR 97401). Food is sponsored by local churches in Eugene. This is a great way to get a free meal and meet someone new.
Additional Food Pantry Locations
Emergency food pantries are open different days and times, and you are not required to visit a specific food pantry. Additional food pantry eligibility information can be found here.
Food Pantry Map
Trouble seeing the map? Check it out here.
Food Pantry Location Details
Food Pantry Eligibility Requirements
(These eligibility requirements do not apply to the Student Food Pantry.)
Food boxes are available at the listed pantries for those who meet USDA eligibility requirements (based on income or food stamp eligibility/proof of address). A food box is a 3-5 day supply of healthy groceries. It is possible to get up to 18 food boxes per year.
- If you have a permanent address you will be asked for proof of this (such as a utility bill).
- If you do not have proof of a permanent address or you do not have a permanent residence you can still receive food.
- You do not need to supply ID, a social security card or any proof of income to receive food.
- You can still receive a monthly food box if you already receive other benefits—such as food stamps or WIC.
Hot Meal Locations
Hot meal sites can be found in Eugene and beyond. You can use the map below to find a site near you, or you can find a site based on the day of the week using the calendars found on this page.
Meal Site Map
Trouble seeing the map? Check it out here. Pdf maps of these locations are available via Food for Lane County.
Meal Site Location Details
Additional Food Resources
The Dining Room
Location: 270 West Eighth Ave., Eugene (Between Lincoln and Charnelton) | Phone: 541-343-2822
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 12 pm—2:45 pm
The Food for Lane County’s Dining Room provides hot and nutritious free meals in a restaurant style atmosphere. It is run by a staff of volunteers. There is no eligibility requirement to get in. Waiters will wait on guests at tables as in a restaurant atmosphere.
Anyone over 18 years of age or children accompanied by parents can eat at the dining room. A meal at the Dining Room is free. The meal consists of a meat or vegetarian entrée, a potato or rice dish, vegetables, salad, dessert and a beverage. Families with small children and individuals with disabilities are seated as soon as they arrive.
Arriving by 1:00pm is recommended in order to secure a reservation.
Produce Plus is a Food for Lane County program that provides fruits and vegetables at community and neighborhood locations. The produce is provided free of charge for those who cannot regularly afford nutritious food.
Produce Plus is available to those living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. There is no program enrollment—anyone can receive this as long as they sign an agreement that they meet the income requirement.
School Lunch Program and Free Summer Meals
The School Lunch Program benefits school-aged children by providing a nutritionally balanced lunch. Families can now apply online for free or reduced school lunches. Paper applications are also available at schools. Individuals who are eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) programs, are also eligible for free school meals. Find your nearest Summer Food Service Program meal site.
Page last updated 3/30/2020