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Archived Homeless List Serve Messages

SUBJECT:   Unaccompanied Youth and SNAP (food stamp) Benefits


The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) heard from many of you that unaccompanied youth were encountering barriers to accessing SNAP (food stamp) benefits.  You responded to their request for more information, which allowed them to put together a specific explanation of the problem, and proposals for solutions, which was presented to the USDA a few months ago.  Today, they are thrilled to share new policy guidance from USDA to make it easier for unaccompanied youth to access benefits.

The policy clarifies several issues that have been barriers to youth receiving benefits:

1. Photo ID is not required for SNAP.

2. A permanent address is not required for SNAP.

3. There is no minimum age for SNAP (i.e. youth under 18 can apply on their own if they are living on their own).

4. Youth who are not living with their parents are not required to apply as part of their parent's household.

5. Youth who are staying temporarily with others may apply independently if they are their own "household" (i.e. they customarily purchase and prepare food on their own), or as part of that household if they purchase and prepare food together.

This guidance will be helpful for youth and their advocates.  

Direct link to the policy:


Link to NAEHCY's Food and Nutrition page:


Donna Cash

Federal Supervisor

Coordinator, McKinney-Vento Program

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

P.O. Box 480, 205 Jefferson Street

Jefferson City, MO  65102-0480

Office:  573-522-8763  Fax:  573-526-6698

Missouri public schools:  the best choice...the best results!