Client Bill of Rights

Now is the time for a Client Bill of Rights!

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Some background

At Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, we have long documented disparate access to the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) services based on race, ethnicity, and/or language. From the early 2000s through 2019, PHFO conducted annual documentation of customer services experiences at ODHS through “secret shopper” activities. Our data show that individuals that speak a language other than English or have a non-white racial/ethic identity were frequently asked to provide more documents than necessary or allowable to apply for SNAP within ODHS policy. 

We partnered closely with ODHS on this work, highlighting findings and recommendations to address barriers. We stopped conducting this work in 2019 because for multiple years we consistently found the same barriers that disproportionately affected communities of color and non-English speakers, and government agencies did not take action to address and change the outcomes. We knew it was time for us to take a different approach and put matters into the community’s hands.

A community-led solution

Working closely with our SNAP Client Advisory Board (SNAP CAB), a group of dedicated community leaders who have lived experience of hunger and poverty, we created a set of expectations for how ODHS employees interact with clients that is based on the actual experiences and needs of those receiving services. Our goal is to present these expectations to the Oregon legislature and enact them as statute, so that every individual who walks through the doors at ODHS is treated fairly and equitably.

SNAP CAB members have universally experienced barriers and poor treatment when seeking services with ODHS, many because of their race, ethnicity, gender, and disability. Board members are deeply connected to their community and witness many who need critical resources encountering trauma and barriers that prevent them from easily accessing supports they need. These experiences were only made worse during the pandemic, as limited in-person access to critical services and changes to ODHS systems – including a new online portal and call center– have starkly limited access.

That’s where the community came in. During the summer of 2021, SNAP CAB created a statewide survey that was distributed to individuals who were currently or had formerly accessed SNAP benefits. We asked survey recipients what their experience with ODHS was like and what they would like to see change. The survey was completed by individuals from all corners of Oregon and the findings were clear: survey results confirmed a need to address customer service and inequitable access through a client bill of rights. From there, the Client Bill of Rights campaign was born.

The Client Bill of Rights

The campaign envisions all Oregonians seeking food benefits are welcomed, supported, and provided with transparency while seeking assistance from Oregon Department of Human Services. To do this, we will present a bill to the Oregon legislature that makes the following asks of ODHS:

  • Centers clients’ rights by being trauma-informed and receiving trauma-informed training
  • Create a supportive and welcoming environment, providing clear information (in requested languages) and transparency on benefit decisions
  • Make community-requested updates to their existing Client Bill of Rights, and visibly posting the Client Bill of Rights in all ODHS offices.
  • ODHS staff, administration, and processes are client-centered and client needs are prioritized.

We see the far reaching outcomes of a policy like this in place at ODHS that will establish metrics for good customer service and client access leading to increased uptake of programs, lower trauma during the application process, and equitable experiences for people of color, people who are gender non-confirming, and those with disabilities seeking ODHS services.

Read the Client Bill of Rights

What we aim to accomplish

Our goal is to introduce this legislation during the 2025 Oregon legislative session. We will be speaking with legislators about the importance of creating a Client Bill of Rights and will seek out sponsors. We will continue to work with community and people that have lived expertise in hunger and poverty to ensure that those who would be most impacted by this legislation are leading the way.

Want to get engaged with this campaign?

Get involved!

Learn more about the SNAP Client Advisory Board

Learn more

SNAP and Immigration

Immigration status affects SNAP eligibility. Learn the facts to make sure you and your family have access to the food you need.

SNAP is no longer considered for Public Charge. The Biden Administration has ended the Trump-era public charge policy. We applaud all the litigators and plaintiffs, advocates and community members who worked to make this happen!

The general SNAP eligibility rule for non-U.S. citizens requires legal residents to have lived in the U.S. for at least five years. However, there are many exceptions for certain populations such as refugees, victims of trafficking, and asylum recipients.

Here is a table that helps breakdown SNAP eligibility for non-U.S. citizens.


Immigration Status

SNAP


LPR* (18 and over)

Eligible (after 5-year bar or qualifying work history)


LPR (under 18)

Eligible


LPR (Pregnant Women)

Eligible (after 5-year bar or qualifying work history)


Refugees, asylees, victims of trafficking, certain others

Eligible


Those without documentation and DACA recipients (including children and pregnant women)

Not Eligible

* LPR stands for “Legal Permanent Resident,” colloquially referred to as a green card. This table is an edited and simplified version of one published by the National Immigration Law Center, which can be found here.

Further Resources

Joint letter on Public Charge from USDA and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Know the Facts on Public Charge (updated 2/14/22) from Oregon Law Center, Causa and Oregon Latino Health Coalition

Oregon Law Center page on Public Charge, available in English, Arabic, Spanish, Korean, Russian, Somali, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Pashto and Dari.


Older Populations

Older adults (60+) have the lowest SNAP participation rate in Oregon and across the country. Help more older adults connect to food assistance!

There are many reasons older adults participate at lower rates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Barriers like not knowing what the program is and that it provides food assistance, misinformation about eligibility, difficulties with navigating the application process, or stigma affect older adult access. However Oregon has done a lot to simplify the application process, expand eligibility, and increase older adult access to SNAP.

How to Apply

The general application process and eligibility guidelines for older adults is the same as is found on our Apply for SNAP page

Older adults and people with disabilities can start the application process by simply calling their local Senior Service Office. Interviews can be done over the phone, in an office, home visit, or through an appointed representative.

Older Adult SNAP Details

When applying for SNAP, older adults have different options to consider with their application. Anyone who is at least 60 years old or has a disability can claim out of pocket medical costs on their SNAP application, which may mean they can qualify for more benefits; proof of these costs is required. Learn more about what are considered out-of-pocket medical expenses.

If an older adult lives with family they may be able to apply for SNAP on their own even if they are unable to purchase and prepare meals separately because of mobility difficulties. For those that may have trouble getting to the store, a trusted person is allowed to use their SNAP benefits for them. To make this happen, an alternate payee form can be filled out and turned in with an application or at any time.

For some older adults (65+) in Oregon, that live in Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah and Washington Counties they can receive their SNAP benefits as a direct deposit, check or on an EBT card which allows for ease of use.

Further Assistance Through the Oregon Department of Human Services

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) is the principal government human services agency of Oregon. ODHS helps Oregonians achieve wellbeing and independence through opportunities that protect, empower, respect choice and preserve dignity. ODHS helps with food benefits, housing, foster care, development disabilities, senior services and many others.

SEARCH ODHS

Outreach and Resources

explains the program and addresses common misconceptions:

  • SNAP is there when you need help buying food. Similar to social security, you have already paid into the program with your tax dollars, so it is there for you if you come across hard times.
  • Many Oregonians use SNAP. There is enough for all who are eligible.
  • SNAP is easy to use.
  • SNAP helps the economy.

including organizations that provide application assistance, grocery delivery or other food and assistance programs:


School Breakfast

Kids who eat breakfast do better at school

School Breakfast is a powerful tool. Good nutrition is essential to every student’s success: Hunger can impact every aspect of their lives physically, socially, and mentally.

Kids who eat breakfast at school do better on tests, attend class more often, feel less anxious and are calmer, have greater focus, and are more likely to graduate.

The problem: In Oregon, less than a third of all students are served breakfast on an average day.

The solution: Improving access by changing service models, engaging parents and students, and achieving great meal quality. Students do better when they start the day with a nutritious breakfast. Making breakfast a seamless part of the school day by changing how and when it is served so all students can access this important meal will have a huge impact on classrooms and schools.

Having breakfast at school ensures that all students get a nutritionally balanced start to their day, and supports greater health, cognition, and stronger participation in learning. Expanding breakfast access would also mean that  many families experiencing a  tight budget, non-traditional work hours, or a busy morning schedule, can be supported by the School Breakfast Program.  Strong child nutrition programs also benefit School food nutrition departments financially, when they are able to reach more children with school breakfast; like options that feed all students at no charge, such as Provision 2 and Community Eligibility Provision, help yield federal reimbursement dollars to support strong programs and improve school meal quality.

Our motivation

Young children smile as they eat lunch at a cafeteria table

The reality is that for many low-income families there are obstacles to providing a healthy morning meal each day. Prior to the Pandemic, 1 in 5 children were food insecure and 52% of students qualified for free and reduced priced meals in the state of Oregon. However, hunger rates in Oregon have heavily increased, and are reaching a low lower than the US average. Participation in the school breakfast program continues to be low.  Only about 23 percent of all students participate in the School Breakfast Program, compared to the almost 50% who participate in the National School Lunch Program.

Barriers to Breakfast

In Oregon, the majority of schools serve School Breakfast before school starts and in the cafeteria. However, this traditional way of operating the school breakfast program doesn’t work for many students, and creates extra barriers for families who might have trouble accessing food.

Some common barriers include:

  • Awareness. School lunch is well known, but families tend to hear less about school breakfast and their eligibility as it’s not always included in communications that are sent home
  • Transportation or other access issues such as rushed morning schedules or buses not arriving in time for students to eat in the cafeteria before class
  • Social stigma that eating breakfast at school is “only for low-income families”, especially  amongst middle and high school students
  • Lack of inclusivity of meals for different cultural groups or dietary needs

Strategies that move breakfast out of the cafeteria and into the classroom are the most successful at overcoming barriers to participation.

What is Free School Breakfast and how do I access it?

In Oregon, the majority of schools serve School Breakfast before school starts and in the cafeteria. However, this traditional way of operating the school breakfast program doesn’t work for many students, and creates extra barriers for families who might have trouble accessing food. The School Breakfast Program (SBP) provides federal reimbursements to providers who operate nonprofit breakfast programs in schools and residential childcare institutions. The program is administered at the Federal level by the USDA and at the State level by the Oregon Department of Education. More information about the School Breakfast Program is available here. 

Over 315,000 kids are eligible for free or reduced-price meals through the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program, and yet only about 206,000 kids participate.  In Oregon, around 273,000 students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, yet only 110,000 students are enrolled. You may be eligible for free school meals even if you weren’t in the past. Thanks to legislation passed in 2019, the income eligibility guidelines for families have been expanded, making all families making 300% of the federal poverty level eligible for free school meals in Oregon. Due to the pandemic, this process will be delayed until schools return to their normal in-person instruction/operations. Check in with your local school district for more details or on how to fill out a Free and Reduced Price meal application or fill out the application with the Oregon Department Of Education.

Want more information about free and reduced price school meals or interested in finding out if your family is eligible?

Find out here

State Advocacy efforts: The Student Success Act

Oregon has been leading the nation in improving access to school meals. The Hunger-Free Schools provisions were signed into law by Governor Kate Brown on May 16, 2019 as part of the landmark Student Success Act, which addresses decades of disinvestment in Oregon’s schools. The Act has made a historic investment in school meals and will ensure no student goes hungry while at school, with provisions that address both the cost of meals and the way breakfast is served. Learn more at https://oregonhunger.org/hunger-free-schools/

The provision has three main components:

  • It is expected to more than double the number of schools with universal free school meals. Kids at these schools will no longer feel singled out for eating school meals, and research shows eating school meals is great for student achievement
  • For the remainder of public schools, Oregon has raised the income eligibility to 300% of the Federal Poverty Line. This matches eligibility for children’s health insurance to 300%. This will support families working paycheck-to paycheck who currently earn just too much to qualify for free school meals but still need assistance.
  • Oregon has standardized the best practice of offering breakfast after the bell to students at schools with high rates of poverty. This means more students have access to school breakfast, which is linked to higher attendance and graduation rates, and higher incomes later in life.

If you are a school, site, or family who has been impacted by this legislation, please look below in the training and tools section or the success stories to learn more about different types of models. These changes were delayed by the COVID Pandemic and went into effect at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year.

Over 310,000 Children

Over 310,000 Children

are eligible for free school breakfast, but only about 110,000 participate.

are eligible for free school breakfast, but only about 110,000 participate.

Help us connect more kids to school breakfast through the work of Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon.

donate today

Additional Resources

In Oregon, the majority of schools serve School Breakfast before school starts and in the cafeteria. However, this traditional way of operating the school breakfast program doesn’t work for many children, as it can create unnecessary barriers for low-income families.

Schools that move breakfast out of the cafeteria and after the bell are the most successful at overcoming barriers to participation and School Breakfast Program participation increases exponentially. This way of serving breakfast is called the Breakfast After the Bell model. It makes breakfast participation convenient by serving it in places children can easily access — in classrooms, in hallway kiosks, or even later in the morning.  The way schools serve breakfast is customizable and frequent methods include: Grab and Go, Second Chance, or Breakfast in the Classroom.

Over 100 schools in Oregon have successfully made the switch to serving breakfast after the bell.

Interested in revamping your school’s breakfast program?

Breakfast after the Bell Implementation Guide

VIEW

Breakfast After the Bell Toolkit for Teachers, Principals, and Other Educators

VIEW

The first step in changing the way your school serves breakfast is to evaluate what service model would work best for their students and staff.

Download the below materials for best practices, resources, and local partners for offering DIY or structured activities.

NHK Breakfast FAQ 

VIEW

Smarter Lunches Cafeteria Scorecard

VIEW

FRAC Breakfast After the Bell Program

VIEW

NHK Breakfast Changes Rollout Timeline

VIEW

FRAC Alternative Models Fact Sheet

VIEW

Promoting the School Breakfast Program and raising awareness. Use the materials below to get the word out in your school, in the media, at community locations, and online.

Breakfast Banner

VIEW

School Breakfast Poster

VIEW

Breakfast Family Flyer

VIEW

Funding opportunities for child nutrition programs in Oregon, especially around the School Breakfast Program.

Oregon Department of Education Grants

The Oregon State Legislature has designated state funds for the expansion of summer and after school child nutrition programs, which includes adding new sites, moving to hot meals and adding new types of meals, including breakfast. Application information and materials can be found on the Department of Education website, or by contacting ODE CNP Specialist Kaitlin Skreen at [email protected] 

The Oregon Department of Oregon has grants to support school breakfasts (contact Laura Allran at [email protected]) and to purchase equipment (contact Jennifer Parenteau at [email protected]). The Department of Education maintains a page of Breakfast after the Bell resources

USDA grants

USDA currently offers Equipment Assistance Grants for School Food Authorities The current grant cycle is open until September 2022. State agencies competitively award equipment assistance grants to eligible school food authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), giving priority to high need schools (i.e., schools in underserved areas, schools with limited access to other resources, and age of food service equipment) where 50 percent or more of the enrolled students are eligible for free or reduced price meals.

These funds will allow SFAs to purchase equipment to serve healthier meals that meet the updated meal patterns, with emphasis on more fruits and vegetables in school meals, improve food safety, and expand access. For additional resources through USDA, please visit their grants page.

Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council Grants

ODN’s school grants have been awarded for the 2022-23 school year.  For more information, Contact Crista Hawkins at [email protected]

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign

The No Kid Hungry campaign frequently has opportunities for School Breakfast Program funding, check their website for updates. This includes the No Kid Hungry and Kellogg School Breakfast Grant. If you have any questions about the application, please contact via email at [email protected] or call 202-649-4342.

Model Programs

Schools across Oregon have found that substantially more children eat breakfast when it is served after the bell and free of charge for all students, when viable. By offering breakfast after the bell, as part of the school day, schools can eliminate barriers such as bus schedules and stigma that get in the way of students eating this important meal.

Breakfast after the Bell programs can look many different ways. Common models for this type of breakfast program are: Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab and Go breakfast, and Second Chance breakfast.

Universal Breakfast, where breakfast is offered at no cost to students, is a helpful addition to any breakfast model, as it removes the financial barriers students may face when participating in School Breakfast Programs.  Offering breakfast at no cost increases breakfast participation, and removes stigma lower-income students often face when they eat breakfast at school. Schools can enroll in a few federal programs to assist with offering universal breakfast, including the Community Eligibility Provision and Provision 2.

Fact sheet on Federal Programs and Funding Options

Second Chance Breakfast

This model is effective for middle or high school students who may not be hungry first thing in the morning, don’t arrive in time, or prefer to socialize with friends in the morning before class. In a Second Chance Breakfast model, students eat breakfast during a break in the morning, often between first and second period. Schools often serve breakfast in the hallway using a Grab and Go model, or they can open the cafeteria to serve breakfast during the break.

School Spotlight: Woodburn High School, Woodburn School District

Learn more about Woodburn High School’s Second Chance Breakfast Program

Breakfast in the Classroom

In the Breakfast in the Classroom model, Students eat breakfast in their classroom after the official start of the school day. Students or staff deliver breakfasts to classrooms from the cafeteria via coolers or insulated rolling bags. Students eat while the teacher takes attendance, gives announcements and gets the day started. Up to 15 minutes can count as instructional time, the average length this model takes.

School Spotlight: Grandhaven Elementary, McMinnville School District

Learn more about  Grandhaven Elementary’s Breakfast in the Classroom Program

watch here

Grab and Go

Students pick up breakfasts from mobile carts in areas that are convenient to students, such as hallways, entryways, or cafeterias. Students can eat in their classroom or in a common area before and after the bell has rung.


SNAP Outreach Strategies

There are many ways to reach Oregonians with information about SNAP. You can help spread the word about this vital food assistance program through SNAP outreach.

SNAP Outreach Basics

SNAP outreach is grounded in positive messaging that shares the basics of the program, provides eligibility information, addresses misconceptions, and helps direct people to easy ways to apply. It answers the questions: what is SNAP, who qualifies, and how to apply.

Effective SNAP outreach strategies reach people where they are already accessing information or resources. This can look like posting outreach materials in public settings, having volunteers in a food pantry share SNAP information, screening for food insecurity in a clinic setting and providing SNAP referral information, or connecting people to SNAP as part of an intake process when someone is accessing other support programs like energy assistance or school meals. Trusted community groups and individuals can help lower stigma and connect people to SNAP through simple actions that have a powerful impact.

HOW TO APPLY FOR SNAP
DOWNLOAD SNAP RESOURCES

Learn more about SNAP

We know that it can feel daunting to share about SNAP especially when it seems like there’s a lot of information to convey. That’s why we provide in-person and online trainings. Our trainings address the basics of the program, navigating the application process, eligibility guidelines, effective outreach strategies, and how to provide application assistance in a simple way that helps you focus on the key information you need to know. Reach out to us if you are interested!

CONNECT WITH 211

Underserved Populations

Outreach can focus on specific population groups that have lower SNAP participation rates. In particular, older adults, students of higher education, single adults 18 to 50 without children, and families with mixed immigration status participate at lower rates. This can be because of barriers like additional eligibility requirements or misinformation, difficulties with navigating the application process, stigma, or many other reasons.

One way to address barriers is to learn about the specific eligibility requirements that certain groups, like students and single adults 18 to 50, may need to meet. Another is to provide application assistance to people who may need extra help applying for SNAP, such as older adults.

Learn more about addressing SNAP eligibility and access for:

Find Support

We offer technical assistance and guidance with outreach strategies, resources and materials, and SNAP information.

We help individuals navigate their SNAP case if they encounter any issues or if they think a wrong eligibility decision was made.

Learn from others that conduct SNAP outreach throughout Oregon. Join O-SNAP, a statewide outreach listserv, participate in-person meetings or trainings, and get referrals to organizations doing this work in your area.

Connect with our SNAP outreach team

Angelita Morillo
Policy Advocate, SNAP
Email: [email protected]

Join Us in Ending Hunger

Together, we can end hunger in Oregon
Donate Today

Summer Meals Support Fund

ATTENTION: We are no longer offering Summer Meals Support Fund grants. See information below on how to start up a summer meal site in your community

In 2020 we shifted from our usual summer meal grant program to emergency support grants. In 2021 we made the decision to end the grant program and to instead focus our resources on policy and administrative advocacy to ensure that programs for summer and school meals are well funded and flexible in providing as much access for kids as possible.

Visit the Oregon Department of Education’s website to learn more about starting up, or improving, a summer meal site in your community.

You can also learn about Start Up and Expansion Grants for summer meal and afterschool meal programs on the Oregon Department of Education Website.



Have Questions?

Email us at [email protected] or call us at 503-595-5501.

Learn More About Summer Meals


TESTIMONIAL

“Grant County might be small but we have a lot of mouths to feed. Without these funds we would not be able to help fight hunger in Oregon and make sure no kid goes without summer meals.”  

Kimberly Ward, Office Manager, John Day Canyon City Parks and Recreation District

We are happy to announce that in summer 2019, we were able to grant over $90,000 to summer meal programs across Oregon. The following 24 communities were awarded grants:


Morrow County School District

(Boardman)

Portland Parks Foundation

(Portland)

Parkrose School District

(Portland)

Boys and Girls Club of Western Treasure Valley

(Ontario)

Phoenix School of Roseburg

(Roseburg)

Estacada School District

(Estacada)

Stanfield Public Library

(Stanfield)

Grants Pass School District

(Grants Pass)

Neighbors for Kids

(Depoe Bay)

HomeForward - East County Portfolio

(Portland)

Boys and Girls Club of Rogue Valley

(Grants Pass)

Integral Youth Services of Klamath Falls

(Klamath Falls)

Lebanon School District

(Lebanon)

Lake Health District

(Lakeview)

Oregon City School District

(Oregon City)

Innovative Housing Inc.

(Portland)

Meals on Wheels People

(Portland)

B'nai B'rith Camp

(Beaverton)

South Coast Family Harbor

(Coos Bay)

Gervais School District

(Gervais)

Food for Lane County

(Eugene)

John Day Canyon City Parks and Recreation

(John Day)

Newberg School District

(Newberg)

Beaverton School District

(Beaverton)

Good Nutrition Makes a Difference

Learn more about school meals
VISIT SCHOOL MEALS

Good nutrition makes a difference

Learn more about school meals
VISIT SCHOOL MEALS

Summer Meals

Thousands of Oregon children participate in school meals during the school year.

The Summer Food Program provides funds for organizations to continue to serve meals to children during the summer when school is not in session. Funding is provided by the USDA.

Community summer meal programs are open to all families and don’t ask for any paperwork- kids can just drop in. Programs with meals are offered at many different types of places, including schools, parks, community centers and faith-based organizations. Many offer fun activities that help kids stay active and keep learning during the summer when school is out.

Use the Summer Meals map search to find a site near you.

Find Summer Meals

Start a Program

The Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs (ODE CNP) team can help communities and programs get started with summer meals. Visit their website for information.

Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon can also help answer questions and connect programs to resources:

Support Summer Meals Access

Many families have never heard of the Summer Food Service Program, or don’t know it’s open to all children and teens 1-18 years old. Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon help connect interested individuals to Summer Meals.

You can help parents and kids know about this important resource by donating to our work.

Donate

Outreach and Program Assistance

Hunger harms us all as a society, but it impacts some of us in Oregon far more than others.

Through our outreach, we work with the Oregon Department of Education and other partners to identify and help remove barriers for communities in providing or increasing access to summer food programs.

We document and share best practices through a variety of marketing, outreach and technical assistance resources.

WHEN SPREADING THE WORD

please be sure to include the following information

“Each Summer, free healthy meals are available to all children and teens 1-18 years old. To find the nearest summer meal site, visit SummerFoodOregon.org, call 2-1-1, or text “food”to 304-304.”

Advocacy

We identify opportunities for Summer Food Service Program improvement through our work with providers here in Oregon and monitoring efforts of other states. We advocate for these improvements through state and federal policy change, like Federal Child Nutrition Reauthorization.

Have Questions?

To learn more about how you can support summer meal access, email us at [email protected]


College Students

Nearly 50% of college students struggle with food and basic needs insecurities. SNAP is a resource that can help. Students 18-49 who attend higher education at least half-time may be eligible for SNAP by meeting income guidelines and additional criteria.

Covid-19 eligibility expansion has ended at the federal level, however Oregon students who meet income guidelines may qualify for SNAP if they meet the following criteria below:

More details in this FAQ guide on eligibility

Income

Those who fall below Oregon’s income guidelines may be eligible for SNAP. Monthly amounts go up $857 for each additional person


Persons in Family

Annual

Monthly

Weekly


1

$29,160

$2,430

$565


2

$39,444

$3,287

$764


3

$49,728

$4,144

$964

*Students attending class less than half time and those age 50+ do not need to meet additional student criteria, only income, to qualify for SNAP.

Student Criteria

Students (ages 18-49) enrolled more than half-time and who meet income guidelines may qualify for SNAP if they meet at least ONE of these criteria:

  • Can speak to how your college education (4-year program, or less) is related to working in a specific job after you complete school
  • Are participating in a state or federally-financed work study program during the regular school year.
  • Are a paid employee or self-employed working an average of 20 hours a week
  • Are unable to work due to physical or physiological difficulties
  • Are responsible for the care of a child (age requirements apply)
  • Are participating in a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) approved program. https://www.wioainoregon.org/eligible-training-providers.html
  • Are receiving TANF
  • Are receiving Unemployment Compensation

Other Factors Affecting Eligibility

  • If a student’s meal plan pays for more than 51% of their meals per week than they are not eligible for SNAP. If the meal plan pays for less than half of a student’s meals per week, receiving a meal plan will not affect a student’s eligibility for SNAP. 
  • Students under the age of 22 who still live with their parents or guardians must apply with their parents. 
  • Financial aid received through the Veterans Administration or private scholarships count as income. 
  • Students on break from school must still meet the criteria for which they are eligible for SNAP (i.e. if you qualify by working 20 hours a week, you’d need to keep doing this over summer break). 

APPLY FOR SNAP

Help Spread the Word about SNAP to Students

It is more critical than ever to share with Oregon students about SNAP since many students qualify but are not participating in the program. Use these resources to start SNAP outreach at your school to make sure students understand how to qualify and access food assistance.

HEY STUDENTS! SNAP POSTER

(8.5"x11")

English
Español


SNAP FOR STUDENTS BOOKMARK

(2.5"x7")

English (Single)
Español (Single)

(8.5"x11")

English (Multi)
Español (Multi)

HOW TO APPLY FOR SNAP

(8.5"x11")

English

College SNAP Outreach and Assistance Toolkit

Find resources to help spread the word about SNAP at your college in our toolkit. The toolkit includes outreach planning and strategies,
an application assistance guide, outreach and communication materials, and more resources to help you ensure that students have access to SNAP.

Learn More

If you have questions that the Department of Human Services hasn't answered, please reach back out to us:

Contact us at 503-595-5501, [email protected]


Outreach Overview

Helping Oregonians put food on the table

Everyone has a right to food. At Partners for a Hunger-­Free Oregon, we are working toward a day when our state is hunger-­free; when every Oregonian ­- from kids to adults to seniors – is healthy and thriving because they have access to affordable, nourishing food.

A cornerstone of our work is to design and implement projects that connect Oregonians at risk of hunger to the federal nutrition programs available, helping people with the ability to purchase food and access prepared meals for children within the school environment and during summer break.

This network of programs makes up the safety-net that prevents hunger reduces poverty for many people in our country. We work with partners across the state to ensure everyone has access to these resources, using outreach to close the gap.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP is a federal program that focuses on putting healthy and nutritious food within reach for low income Oregonians. The program has been a tremendous success in reducing childhood hunger and malnutrition. Currently, more than 26 million Americans, including over 600,000 Oregonians, receive SNAP benefits each month.

SNAP benefits, provided on the Oregon Trail card, create a positive ripple effect in society, and are as essential today as they were when the program began. Families, older adults, people with disabilities, and hard-working Oregonians are able to get the support they need to stay in school, keep their jobs, and keep food on the table.

Since our inception in 2006, PHFO has designed and implemented projects that improve program access through effective communication, outreach and application assistance for eligible Oregonians. We provide trainings to community partners who are interested in connecting people to SNAP, and work closely with partners across the state to improve services for all.

School Meals

Through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service Department, several nutrition programs are available that provide healthy food to children in school.

Administered by the Oregon Department of Education, these programs make available breakfast, lunch, in-school snacks, and after school meals and snacks for all children.

Some children are eligible for these services at not cost to the parents, and others can access meals through paying a small fee.

These programs help prevent hunger and obesity, and give students the best opportunity to make the most of learning. Approximately 315,000 students across Oregon are eligible for free or reduced price meals, however only about 210,000 access lunch, and 110,000 access breakfast in school.

Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon designs and implements projects that focus on closing the gap between the number of children that are eligible, and the number of eligible children accessing free or reduced cost meals in school.

Connecting students to these available resources early on ensures that they are able to grow up happy and healthy!

Summer Meals When School is Out

Thousands of Oregon children participate in school nutrition during the school year. Through the USDA, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides funds for organizations to serve meals to children during the summer when school is not in session.

Of the 315,000+ children eligible for free or reduced price meals in school, only about 35,000 access free meals through the summer, leaving a huge gap of kids who are faced with hunger through a time of year that is supposed to be about fun in the sun!

Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon offers statewide program outreach and technical assistance to local communities starting new or expanding existing services. We also work with the Oregon Department of Education to increase the visibility of this program across the state to make sure all Oregon kids who need a nourishing meal in the summer can access one.

Help connect communities and families to Summer Meals

Donate

SNAP Overview

SNAP Helps Oregonians

Did you know that more than half of all Americans will use SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps,) at least once in their lifetime? Currently more than 680,000 Oregonians-1 in 6-receive SNAP. This impacts Oregon in 3 important ways:

  • It immediately puts food on the table
  • It stabilizes the family budget
  • It brings more than $1 billion federal tax dollars back into the state. Each $1 creates a $1.70 in local economic activity, helping to support local grocers and farmers

Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon (PHFO) works with local communities and statewide leaders to improve the program at many levels through identifying access barriers, implementing new policies, and increasing participation statewide. We focus on strategies to increase access and participation of underserved populations including older adults and students. Our outreach staff travel across the state providing training, tools, outreach materials, and support to community partners.

Apply for SNAP

You may be able to get SNAP if you are working, receiving unemployment, or attending school. See if you are eligible and learn how to apply.

Apply Today

SNAP Time Limits

There are new time limits for some SNAP participants in Oregon. These time limits are for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) and affect SNAP participants in Benton, Clackamas, Lane, Marion, Multnomah, Washington and Yamhill Counties.

Learn more

SNAP for Older Adults

Older adults (60+) have the lowest SNAP participation rate in Oregon and across the country. Help more older adults connect to food assistance!

Learn More

Additional SNAP Information

Learn More About SNAP Outreach

Dive into our online SNAP training modules

See SNAP training

Get Outreach Materials

Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon (PHFO) and DHS produce original materials for SNAP Outreach.

Get Outreach Materials

SNAP for College Students

Students of higher education 18-49 need to have additional requirements for SNAP eligibility.

Learn More

Get Program Assistance

Outreach support, presentations, & information for your community.

Learn More

Match SNAP Benefits at Farmers Markets

Eat locally and match your SNAP benefits at these farmers markets around Oregon!

Find Your Market

Need to Speak to Someone at DHS?

Find the contact information of your local branch office.

Find DHS Contact Info

ABAWDS

Who is an Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD)? 

This is any person receiving SNAP benefits who: 

  • Is at least 18 but not yet 50 years of age
  • Doesn’t have a child under the age of 18 receiving SNAP benefits with them  

What are SNAP time limits? 

Federal rules limit SNAP benefits to three months in a three-year period for Able-Bodied  Adults Without Dependents. Due to the Federal Public Health Emergency related to the COVID Pandemic, this rule was suspended April 2020 through January 2023, but has since been reinstated.

Note: You are able to receive SNAP benefits for more than the three-month time limit if you meet the “work requirements,” or have an “exemption.”

What are the work requirements for ABAWDs? 

An Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents can receive SNAP for longer than three months if they participate in verified work activities. These activities may include one of the following: 

  • Working, no less than 80 hours a month. This may be paid or unpaid (volunteering or  bartering). If self-employed, earnings must be at least $1,160 per month including  business costs or $580 without business costs. 
  • Participate in the Oregon Employment Department’s (OED) ABAWD program for no less than 80 hours a month completing  the work-related activities listed on their OED ABAWD case plan. 
  • A combination of no less than 80 hours a month of working (paid or unpaid) and  participating in work-related activities listed in their OED ABAWD case plan. 
  • Participating in Workfare at the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) rate.  

Do all Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents have to do the work requirements?

No. They may choose not to participate in the OED ABAWD Program and simply receive three months of SNAP. In addition, they may have a reason which prevents them from working. We call these reasons “exemptions.” Below is a list of allowable exemptions for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents. If a person believes they meet an exemption, they need to let ODHS know as soon as possible. Only ODHS can determine if a person meets an exemption. The ODHS staff will let them know if verification is required.  

Exemptions are grouped into a few categories:

The first category is exemptions that prevent the person from working and thus being able to meet the work requirements. In Oregon, a verbal statement is accepted for these: 

  • Unable to work due to mental, behavioral, or physical health issues. This is one of the most common reasons to exempt a person. It is meant to be broad. There are many ways to meet this exemption. Examples may include: 
    • A person receiving disability income or accident insurance payments.
    • A person receiving wrap-around services. Wrap-around services are defined as a range of services provided by community agencies addressing a person’s needs which include medical or health issues preventing them from obtaining or maintaining employment. 
  • A doctor’s statement is not required. However, they may be asked follow-up questions to help make the determination. 
  • Enrolled in School at least half-time. This includes students attending: 
    • High School. 
    • College. 
    • Training Programs. 
    • Adult Basic Education, General Education Development, or English as a Second  Language classes. 
  • Refugees engaged in Training Plans with a local Federal Refugee Resettlement Program. 
  • Participating in an Alcohol or Drug Treatment Program. This may be either an in-patient or out-patient program, it cannot solely be attending Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings. 
  • Responsible for caring for a person who requires assistance in caring for themself. It is not necessary for them to live together. This does not include people who are getting paid to provide care.  
  • A person is pregnant.

The second category of exemptions are considered equivalent to the work requirements. These work-related exemptions require verification and include the following: 

  • Working 30 hours a week or earning at least $935.25 a month 
  • Self-employed and earning at least $935.25 a month without business costs  and $1870.50 with business costs  
  • Applied for or receiving Unemployment Benefits. This includes persons in the appeal process doing the federally required weekly activities 
  • Participating in a TANF JOBS plan 
  • You are working, volunteering or bartering (You will need to provide proof).

There is a third category of exemptions known as discretionary exemptions. Oregon may determine the criteria for these exemptions, and may expand these, at its discretion, to a limited number of people subject to the SNAP time limits. Due to the limited number of discretionary exemptions available, Oregon will apply them in the following counties. These counties were selected because they either have no local WorkSource centers, are considered extremely rural, or have limited access to employment services:

Counties where discretionary exemptions will be applied when appropriate:
Wheeler  Lake  Crook
Gilliam  Harney  Curry
Sherman  Morrow  Union
Wallowa  Hood River  Wasco
Grant  Baker  Malheur
Jefferson

A person is also exempt from the SNAP time limits if they live on the Tribal Lands of the Burns Paiute Tribe; Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw; Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians; Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde; Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation; Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation; Coquille Indian Tribe; or Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians.

 

If you think you might be exempt, contact ODHS as soon as possible. ODHS needs to approve your exemption.

  • By phone at 833-947-1694
    • ​Phone hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday. 
    • ​Language interpreters available.
  • By email at [email protected]
    • Please include in your email:
      • Your full name
      • Your SNAP case number
      • Your contact information and a good time to reach you.

For more details, visit the SNAP Time Limits FAQ and contact your local ODHS Office (see list below) if you have any questions about your SNAP benefits.

Contact Your Local DHS Office:

  • Benton County
    541-757-5082
  • Clackamas County
    503-731-4777
  • Clatsop County
    503-325-2021
  • Jackson County
    541-858-3104
  • Linn County
    541-757-5050
  • Marion County
    503-373-7512
  • Multnomah County
    971-673-2422 or 971-673-2333
  • Polk County
    503-373-7512
  • Tillamook County
    503-842-4453
  • Washington County
    503-693-4769
  • Yamhill County
    503-373-7512

Local offices in Deschutes County:

  • Bend
    541-388-6010
  • La Pine
    541-536-5380
  • Redmond
    541-548-5547

Local offices in Lane County:

  • Cottage Grove
    541-942-9186
  • Florence
    541-997-8251
  • McKenzie Center
    541-686-7878
  • Springfield
    541-726-3525
  • West Eugene
    541-686-7722


SNAP Outreach Materials

PHFO Print Materials

Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon (PHFO) produces original materials for SNAP Outreach. They are available to print and download below.

DHS Materials

Outreach brochures are available free of charge through Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS). DHS brochures have been developed through a collaboration with Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon for your use. To order free, current materials, complete the Brochure Order Form below.

Order DHS Brochures


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The Anti-Hunger Movement

Learn about our work to organize and advocate for food justice.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT

The Anti-Hunger Movement

Learn about our work to organize and advocate for food justice.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT