MLK Jr. Day of Service
Another group of students are tasked with sorting cans in the food pantry of the Ladies of Charity Knoxville warehouse during the MLK Jr. Day of Service on Saturday, January 18, 2020.

In the wake of the continuing coronavirus pandemic, the United States Department of Agriculture has relaxed requirements for student emergency food services.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs, often shortened to SNAPs and formerly known as “food stamps,” provides food insecure individuals a monthly supplement for purchasing food.

You are eligible for SNAPs if any of the following apply: you participate in a work study, you work 80 hours a month, you have less than $2,250 in resources or you care for a child under six years of age.

The USDA encourages any who are eligible to apply. Tennesseans can apply with the Department of Family Assistance on their website.

If you are still unsure if you or your family are eligible, the USDA recommends contacting your local SNAP office. The Tennessee SNAP office has a websitewith listed resource information, as well as a phone number at 866-311-4287.

On UT’s campus, Smokey's Food Pantry is still open by appointment. Anyone can make an appointment by emailing smokeyspantry@gmail.com.

The USDA defines food insecurity as a lack of access to adequate and nutritious food. If that applies to you or anyone you know, contact a SNAP office as soon as possible.

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