For thousands of students enrolled in Washington’s community and technical colleges, it’s not just homework and studying they worry about. For them, it’s more basic: they need help paying for things like food, school supplies, books, child care and housing. Now, more help is here.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently approved Washington’s proposal to allow low-income students in a wider range of certificate, degree and industry-recognized programs to receive food assistance through the state’s Basic Food Employment and Training Program, or BFET, provided they meet all the other eligibility criteria. Previously, this support was available only to income-eligible students enrolled in vocational programs or basic skills classes, severely limiting the number of students potentially eligible for BFET.
The BFET program expansion support is even more important now as the coronavirus pandemic worsens hunger for college students across the country. Before the economic downturn, a February report by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice at Temple University showed six in 10 Washington community and technical college students experienced hunger or housing insecurity in the previous year, even though most were working.
Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.