Assistance is a SNAP

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-Arkansas State University representatives are working with community members to provide students with all the information they need.

A resource fair took place at the Student Union Center on Wednesday.

Representatives with the Arkansas Department of Human Services were on campus with their mobile unit, SNAP.

The purpose of SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is to help end hunger while improving nutrition and health.

County Administrator for the Department of Human Services in Craighead County, Janice Griffin, says they want to make as many people as possible aware of their services.

"Arkansas is one of the most obese and hungry states in the nation," Griffin stated. "So, we're trying to do more outreach and make people more aware of our services. We are here today at the resource fair to bring awareness that there are several college students that are eligible for SNAP benefits and they probably don't realize it."

Griffin says there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the SNAP program.

"SNAP is basically to supplement your income," Griffin emphasized. "Somebody that works can still get SNAP. Some people have the mistake and idea that if you work you can't get SNAP, but you can. You just wouldn't get the whole benefit."

ASU Junior and Student Activities Board President, Amber Ray, says the resource fair is vital in getting

"It's a lot of information, but it's needed," Ray said. "Not too many people coming here as far as incoming freshman from another state know about the things that we have provided here in Jonesboro."

Griffin said they hoped by attending the fair, they would connect with a different group of people.

"I knew it would be a chance to reach a lot of people that we normally wouldn't reach," Griffin stated. "It's just an outreach effort. It's also and effort to make the community aware that we do have this SNAP mobile if there's large community fairs. We're willing to bring it to try and get more people aware of our programs."

Chancellor of ASU, Tim Hudson, says helping their students is what this fair is all about.

"We really appreciate them taking time out to do that," Hudson said. "I'm not sure if some of our students realize that they qualify for that program. And the way students struggle nowadays and we really appreciate that. They need all the assistance they can get. So, we're delighted they are here."

Over 150 organizations set up informational booths at this years Resource Fair.

"We really appreciate our community partners," Hudson stated. "One of the things we always say about coming to Arkansas State University is not only are you going to be at a great University, you're going to be in a great city. The turn out today just proves that."

Griffin says you may qualify for assistance if any of the following applies to you: you work an average of 20 hours per week, have a child under the age of 6, have a child under the age of 12 and no child care available, eligible for the work study program on campus, tuition is being paid for by the Rehabilitation Program, WIA or JTPA.  If you receive TEA or your tuition and fee's exclude the meal plan program.

The SNAP mobile unit serves 14 counties in Northeast Arkansas and is handicapped accessible.

To see if you qualify for one of their programs, log onto this website.

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