No Kid Hungry Launches New Partnership with SUNY and Hunger Solutions to Fight Hunger across 64 Campuses, Helping Student-Parents Provide for Families

$200,000 Grant from No Kid Hungry will Broaden SNAP Outreach and Connect Student Parents to Federal Nutrition Programs

Albany, NY — No Kid Hungry New York today announced a new partnership with the State University of New York and Hunger Solutions New York to expand resources and outreach to student parents to end hunger across SUNY’s 64 campuses. No Kind Hungry has funded a $200,000 grant to broaden SUNY’s already significant Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) outreach efforts and, with the help of Hunger Solutions New York, directly connect hundreds of student parents systemwide to federal nutrition programs to help them afford food for their families.

A 2019 survey conducted by SUNY found that 54 percent of community college students and 40 percent of students from state-operated campuses indicated that they are unable to eat at times because they do not have enough money for food. Although SUNY campuses offer a wide range of interventions and services, 61 percent of students from community colleges and 66 percent of students from state-operated campuses were unaware as to where they can receive assistance on campus.

As part of this grant, SUNY will conduct a new survey during the 2022-2023 academic year to assess the current state of food insecurity and inform any needed policy changes by the end of the year.

Director of No Kid Hungry New York Rachel Sabella said, “Hunger hides in plain sight, even on college campuses. This is especially true for many student-parents, who are working to provide for their children, while also pursuing their education. We want all college students focused on learning and graduating, not worrying how they will feed their family. This grant will help SUNY connect more student-parents with the food resources they need to achieve a college diploma, which will in turn help support their children for many years to come.”

“New York State and SUNY are committed to ending food insecurity because students cannot be faced with the decision to feed themselves and their family or continue their studies—we have an obligation to help them do both,” said SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley. “As long as there continues to be food insecurity we will continue to find better ways to reach and engage these students. This grant and the partnership it creates amongst SUNY, No Kid Hungry, and Hunger Solutions takes the next step in connecting students to expert outreach specialists that are standing by, ready to help secure available federal and state aid.”

Executive Director of Hunger Solutions New York Andres Vives said, “Reaching college students with nutrition assistance through SNAP is a top priority for our organization. With recent changes to eligibility rules for college students in NYS, along with flexibilities afforded at the federal level in response to the COVID pandemic, now is a critical time to reach as many food-insecure students as possible, to help them and their families focus on what matters most – keeping enough food on the table so they may succeed in their academic programs. This partnership provides so much opportunity to reach many more students and families with needed services.”

SUNY Interim Student Advocate and Executive Director of University Life and Opportunity Programs Cheryl Hamilton said, “SUNY was founded on providing equal access to a high-quality education for all New Yorkers, but we still have work to do to better serve our students and take care of their most pressing needs. This grant is an investment in that work, and will allow us to better coordinate food insecurity efforts throughout our entire system, with a focus on setting up our childcare centers with the proper programming and tools they need to educate and support our student parents and their children. We appreciate the support of No Kid Hungry and Hunger Solutions, as well as other partners throughout the state to allow our students to take care of their nutritional needs, so they can ultimately focus on their studies and fully take advantage of the opportunities SUNY provides.”

SUNY’s Anti-Hunger/Nutrition Coordinator, Megan Conroy, works directly with each campus to assist students with children who are at risk for food insecurity. With the support of the grant, SUNY has begun to:

  • Train SNAP coordinators on each SUNY campus to maximize enrollment in food assistance programs with an emphasis on student parents
  • Coordinate with SUNY childcare centers to increase awareness of nutrition programs including SNAP and WIC referrals
  • Increase promotion of SUNY-based food programs, such as on-site and off-site food pantries.

Hunger Solutions New York works to maximize participation in, and support for, federally funded nutrition assistance programs. As part of this grant Hunger Solutions New York will:

  • Provide training and technical assistance to SUNY staff on state and federal SNAP policies, procedures and best practices in reaching college students
  • Assist with developing outreach and awareness materials, and assisting with implementation to expand access to child nutrition programs across SUNY campuses and sites.
  • Provide a referral process to the Nutrition Outreach and Education Program, where individuals and families can get one-on-one personalized, free and confidential assistance with completing a SNAP application.

In 2021, SUNY announced that students at Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) and Advanced Technology Training and Information Networking (ATTAIN) labs, and who are eligible for SNAP benefits could choose to be automatically enrolled in SNAP. In 2019-2020 SUNY undertook a major expansion to ensure every campus has an accessible food pantry or partnership with a local food pantry in place for students to ensure stigma-free access. And earlier this year, SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley, City University of New York Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, and CICU President Lola Brabham joined together to urge the Biden Administration to make permanent changes to SNAP to ensure no student goes hungry.

About No Kid Hungry

No child should go hungry in America. But in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, millions of kids in New York could face hunger. No Kid Hungry New York is working to end childhood hunger by helping launch and improve programs that give all kids the healthy food they need to thrive. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry New York is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty. Join us at