Abstract| Volume 54, ISSUE 7, SUPPLEMENT , S3-S4, July 2022

O06 University of North Carolina Charlotte Food Insecurity SNAP Initiative


      To develop a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility screening and application support system within a large public university

      Use of Theory/Research

      Recent research highlights food insecurity as a barrier to healthy eating and academic success among university students. Research also notes that university students are frequently struggling financially.

      Target Audience

      University students

      Program Description

      A 4-item SNAP Eligibility Screener was developed with input from partners at the University of Minnesota and the local Department of Social Services SNAP Office. Based on screener responses, if a student is deemed “potentially eligible” for SNAP they are provided information on how to apply for benefits. Once pilot testing on the screener was complete, the development team encouraged partners throughout the university to utilize the screener. The screener is now highlighted in instructor syllabi, on the university student support services website, and is being utilized by university financial aid officers when counseling students.

      Evaluation Methods

      There is an electronic record when a student completes the screener; therefore, there is a count of the number of students that completed the screener and the number that were determined to be “potentially eligible” for SNAP. When a student applies for SNAP, the university is contacted by the county social services office to verify student status. To evaluate whether “potentially eligible” students actually apply for SNAP benefits, University staff match ‘potentially eligible’ students to those that applied for SNAP.


      Between October 27, 2021, and January 19th, 2022, approximately 159 students completed the SNAP Eligibility Screener. Of those 159 students, 29 students were ‘potentially eligible’ for SNAP benefits. Among the ‘potentially eligible’ students, 8 students have applied for SNAP benefits.


      Educating students about SNAP and supporting them throughout the application process is one strategy that may lead to healthy eating and reduced food insecurity.


      Center for Disease Control and Prevention; North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.


      Supplementary data related to this article can be found at