Student Affairs News

New Dining Services partnership provides greater access to fresh foods for low-income students and families

Department: Dining Services

Details:

Dining Services at Washington State University has established a new partnership with the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), making its fresh foods more accessible for qualified low-income students and families at The Market.

The Market, located in WSU’s Global Scholars Hall, specializes in selling items that contribute to both a healthy lifestyle and to sustainability. Many of the produce items found on the shelves are locally sourced.

Students and others who qualify for SNAP receive financial credit from the USDA via a SNAP Card. The SNAP Card works like a debit card and can only be used to buy nutritional foods.

“The Market received SNAP certification because it continually provides fresh staples such as breads, cereals, fruits and vegetables, poultry and fish, as well as dairy products,” said Gary Coyle, director of Dining Services. “We are pleased to be a SNAP provider for our local community.”

Coyle said he is in the process of getting The Market’s payments system upgraded to accept SNAP Cards and training his team on what items can be purchased using the card. According to SNAP guidelines, items such as household goods, food that is hot at time of sale, and food intended to be eaten in the store are not allowed. He aims to have The Market ready to serve SNAP customers by end of fall semester.

More information about SNAP can be found at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap.