SUNY Expands Plan to End Hunger With ‘No Kid Hungry’ and ‘Hunger Solutions’ Partnership

May 24, 2022

Collaboration Funded by $200,000 Grant From No Kid Hungry to Broaden SNAP Outreach Efforts and Connect Student Parents to Federal Nutrition Programs

Albany, NY — With summer coming and fewer meal plan options available, State University of New York today announced its partnership with the organizations No Kid Hungry and Hunger Solutions New York to expand resources and outreach to student parents to end hunger. The collaboration is funded through a $200,000 grant from No Kid Hungry—a national organization working to end childhood hunger and poverty in the US. The grant broadens SUNY’s already significant Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) outreach efforts and, with the help of Hunger Solutions New York, will more directly connect hundreds of student parents systemwide to federal nutrition programs.

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.

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.

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.

"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. "Over the past decade, rates of food insecurity have risen dramatically, and it is SUNY’s duty to always be bettering our ability to reach and engage our students, particularly those at risk of financial and household instability. 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."

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."

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 that 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 of 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.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY's 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

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