Skip to main content

Meal Assistance Program and SNAP

Meal Assistance Program

Applications for the Meal Assistance Program are currently closed. Read more about the program below.

Boise State’s Swipe Out Hunger Association proudly works with students and Boise State Dining to help provide donated meal swipes to the Meal Assistance Program so Boise State students facing food insecurity have access to no-cost meals. Recipients will receive 10 meal swipes to be used within the semester at Buster’s Kitchen in the Student Union Building.


  • The Meal Assistance Program is offered during fall and spring semesters only
  • 10 meals will be redeemed at Buster’s Kitchen (all-you-care-to-eat dining facility in the SUB)
  • Any unused meals awarded will expire at the end of the semester
  • Meals do not need to be repaid


  • Enrolled in at least three financial aid eligible credits for the semester in which meals are being requested.
  • Be a degree-seeking student in good academic standing with minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or show evidence of recent satisfactory progress.
  • Have exhausted all other possible resources before applying for meal assistance, such as student loans, food stamps, personal financial accounts, people that owe you money, and community resources (food pantries).
  • Can articulate how this program will help you stay successful as a student.


SNAP (food stamps) provides food benefits to low-income families to supplement their grocery budget so they can afford the nutritious food essential to health and well-being. Learn more about how to apply in the FAQs below.

Am I Eligible for SNAP?

SNAP Benefits FAQs

Learn more about SNAP Benefits and Eligibility

Am I eligible for SNAP benefits as a student?

You must be… And meet ONE of the following:
  • Qualify under state income restrictions, for most, resources must be under $5,000
  • Age between 18 – 50
  • Physically and intellectually fit
  • Enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education
  • A citizen or legal immigrant
  • Participate in state or federally financed work study during the regular school year, as determined by the institution of higher education
  • Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 0 in the current academic year
  • Employed and paid for a minimum of 80 hours/month
  • Self-employed for a minimum of 80 hours/month and earning at least the Federal minimum wage
  • Responsible for the care of a dependent under the age of 6
  • Responsible for the care of a dependent between the ages of 6-12, without adequate childcare
  • A single parent responsible for the care of a dependent child under the age of 12
  • Receives benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho Program
  • Assigned or placed in an institution of higher education through the WIOA program, the JOBS program, JSAP program, a program under Section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974, or a state or local government program for employment and training

How do I apply for SNAP benefits?

There are multiple ways to apply:

What documentation do I need to prove my eligibility as a student?

You received an email in your BroncoMail titled “You may be eligible for SNAP Food Benefits.”  Attached to that email is a certification letter you may use to document your eligibility for SNAP benefits. Be sure to provide this certification letter alongside your application.

As well as:

  • ID card
  • Household income and resources
  • Housing costs
  • Current monthly expenses
  • If applicable, immigration status

I don’t currently live in Idaho; can I use my certification letter to apply for SNAP benefits in another state?

Yes. The certification letter you received can be used to document SNAP eligibility anywhere in the United States, not just in Idaho.

What should I expect from the application process?

Once you submit your application you will receive a response from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in the form of a letter. You will then be prompted to schedule a phone interview where you will be asked to verify the information on your application. At the end of the interview you can expect to be confirmed or denied SNAP benefits based on whether you meet the eligibility requirements. Please be aware, the Idaho SNAP Department is currently experiencing a high number of applicants due to increased need so you may experience a delay in the processing of your application materials. 

Where can I go to receive assistance in applying for SNAP benefits?

For assistance in applying for SNAP benefits, reach out to the Manager of Student Basic Needs Resources, Michelle Cain, at or 208-426-1527, option 6.

How much will I get in food assistance through the SNAP program?

The amount of SNAP benefits you receive depends on a variety of circumstances such as the number of people in your household and your income. Generally, the larger the household size or the lower the income, the higher the benefit amount. On average, an eligible individual/one person household receives between $138 – $204 in SNAP benefits per month.

How will I receive my SNAP funds?

An eligible student receives an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which is used like a debit card at the grocery store. The EBT card uses money in your SNAP account to pay for food items. Your SNAP account is reloaded monthly.

What can I buy with SNAP benefits?

You can buy items like breads and cereals; fruits and vegetables; meat, fish, and poultry; dairy products; seeds, and plants that produce food.

Items not covered by SNAP include beer, wine, or liquor; cigarettes or tobacco; vitamins and medicines; food that can be eaten in-store; prepared foods; and non-food items like pet food, soaps, paper products, and household supplies.

What does it mean to be food insecure? How would SNAP benefits help decrease my food insecurity?

  • Having to wait for your paycheck in order to purchase groceries
  • Skipping meals to make your groceries last longer
  • Eating small meals to make your groceries last longer
  • Running out of flex dollars or meal swipes on your meal plan

SNAP benefits will provide you money every month to spend on groceries with the hope that the extra money will prevent you from experiencing any of the situations listed above.