Students on SNAP: Hilltoppers offer insight into healthy diet on a budget

Marcel Mayo

Although there are various meal plan options available on campus, many students opt out of a meal plan and choose to go a different route. 

For some students, the alternative route is applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly referred to as food stamps. 

SNAP is not only for low income families. College students who don’t make enough money to support themselves are also eligible for the program. 

Nashville senior Lena Talbott is one of many WKU students eligible for SNAP. 

“As a student, food stamps are offered to you if you do work-study and live off campus,” Talbott said. “It substitutes for your meal plans.” 

However, eating healthy isn’t one of her top priorities.  

“I get a couple of snacks because I have a busy schedule,” said Talbott. 

For Louisville junior Charles Buckner, food stamps allow him to eat healthier than eating on a meal plan would. 

“Meal plans are expensive and food stamps were a better way to help support my eating habits,” Buckner said. “It also allows me to buy healthier foods so I can live a healthier lifestyle.” 

Buckner said students are only given a certain amount each month, but if the full amount isn’t used the money will roll over into the next month. 

“I get $194 a month for food and it really does helps,” said Buckner. “Ever since I been on food stamps, I’ve lost weight because I’m eating healthier. I have more energy and think more clearly.” 

Some students such as Louisville alum Jaron Alexander survived all four years in college with the support of food stamps. 

“Being in college, food stamps are really reliable,” Alexander said “Meal plans didn’t last a full week for me.” 

Hopkinsville senior Chrisshanda Legette said SNAP is an opportunity to help her get where she needs to be financially.  

“Working part-time and making minimum wage and paying for your rent and bills, it’s kind of hard to have money left over for food,” Legette said.

 Legette said it’s not the food stamps that prevent her from balancing a healthy diet but rather school. 

“I probably cook healthy foods once a week, but I still get junk foods,” said Legette.