House Leaders Request GAO Report Detailing Pandemic’s Impact College Hunger

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Staff Reporter 

A pair of House committee leaders are requesting the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine the impact of the pandemic on student hunger, citing concern over the growing number of college students experiencing food insecurity. Congress previously expanded college students' eligibility for food assistance during the pandemic and while that benefit has made millions more eligible, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, and Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, are looking to garner additional insight.

“Given that the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics is likely to release new data on food insecurity among college students based on their 2020 National Post-Secondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) in early 2022 and that the Farm Bill is up for reauthorization in 2023, we feel the time is right to re-examine SNAP eligibility restrictions with respect to college students,” the pair write in a letter to GAO. “We are writing to ask GAO to examine the extent of college student food insecurity, enrollment in SNAP among eligible college students, and how college students were affected by the removal of certain eligibility restrictions to SNAP for college students during the COVID-19 national emergency.”

The Education and Labor Committee said the new study will help determine if that expansion successfully prevented students from going hungry and how we can streamline support for at-risk students.


Publication Date: 6/9/2021

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