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FY 2024 Priority Areas for State Outreach Plans

Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
DATE: Feb. 1, 2023
SUBJECT: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - FY 2024 Priority Areas for State Outreach Plans
TO: All SNAP State Agencies

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is committed to increasing access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), one of the most powerful tools available to ensure low-income people have access to healthy food. Program informational activities, or SNAP outreach activities, are a critical tool to ensure vulnerable populations are aware of the availability, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and benefits of SNAP.

FNS strongly recommends that all states develop a SNAP outreach plan. In addition to increasing enrollment among eligible non-participating households, SNAP outreach can help reduce churn by encouraging existing SNAP households to recertify. Outreach work is especially important now for households who need additional support as states continue unwinding the flexibilities in place during the COVID-19 federal public health emergency (PHE).

Outreach is also critical to achieving the goals of the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.1 The first pillar of the strategy calls for improving food access and affordability and connecting more underserved populations to SNAP. USDA remains committed to advancing racial equity and reducing barriers to SNAP participation. As part of this effort, FNS continues to urge states to strengthen partnerships in the following FY 2024 SNAP outreach priority areas:

  • Students. Many students at risk of food insecurity and potentially eligible for SNAP do not report receiving SNAP benefits, indicating that these students may be unaware of or misinformed about their potential eligibility.2 FNS encourages states to partner with institutions of higher education (IHEs) to support student enrollment in SNAP. IHEs may use data from the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA®) to communicate (e.g., text, email) with potentially eligible students. Students can then apply for SNAP benefits online, in-person, by phone, or by mail. IHEs may also partner with the state SNAP agency to streamline the enrollment and verification process provided certain conditions are met. Per U.S. Department of Education guidance,3 IHEs are permitted to use FAFSA data to aid in the administration of certain federal benefits, including SNAP, provided that the IHE obtained the students’ prior written consent in compliance with the requirements of 34 CFR 99.30 of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act regulations and protects their privacy rights. State SNAP agencies may also choose to partner with state departments of higher education and other higher education stakeholders to facilitate forming these partnerships with IHEs and to share best practices.4
  • Veterans. Among working-age adults, veterans are more likely to live in food insecure households than nonveterans, and SNAP participation is estimated to be lower among eligible veterans compared to all households.5 States can partner with local Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities and veteran service organizations to help connect veterans to the program. Furthermore, FNS recommends state SNAP agencies that target veterans share their SNAP outreach plans with local VHA facilities to promote collaboration.
  • Immigrant and mixed status households, and other underserved communities.6 Immigrant and mixed-status households, rural households, LGBTQ+ households, households with limited English proficiency, and others may not be well-served by existing outreach partners due to language barriers, transportation issues, unfamiliarity with the organizations, or need for specialized services. FNS encourages states to collaborate with partners serving households that are not connected to the state’s current outreach partners.
  • Older adults. Older adults have historically had a lower SNAP participation rate than the overall population.7 SNAP outreach can help mitigate barriers that older adults may face in applying for SNAP, including technology and mobility barriers, stigma, and misperceptions about eligibility. This can include outreach to kinship caregivers (e.g., grandfamilies) that may not be aware of eligibility. States may consider partnering with local aging services agencies, such as Aging and Disability Resource Centers, Area Agencies on Aging, and community-based organizations supporting older adults.

FNS encourages states to carefully consider one or more of these priority areas and strategies when analyzing state needs and developing FY 2024 outreach plans. Detailed information about outreach plan requirements and allowable activities may be found in the SNAP State Outreach Plan Guidance. As a reminder, FNS reimburses state agencies for up to 50% of allowable administrative costs, including outreach activities. States must have an approved outreach plan for activities to be eligible for reimbursement.

States should submit outreach plans to their FNS regional office by August 15 to allow sufficient time for review and approval.

Thank you for your efforts to improve access to SNAP for all eligible participants. State agencies with questions should contact their respective FNS regional office representatives.

Moira Johnston
Acting Director
Program Development Division

1White House, “Biden-Harris Administration National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health,” September 2022,
2Government Accountability Office, “Better Information Could Help Eligible College Students Access Federal Food Assistance Benefits,” December 2018,
3Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education, “(GEN-22-02) Use of FAFSA Data to Administer Federal Programs,” January 2022,
4For more information on students and SNAP, visit SNAP’s students webpage.
5Government Accountability Office, “Federal Agencies Should Improve Oversight and Better Collaborate on Efforts to Support Veterans with Food Insecurity,” March 2022,
6Federal Register, “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government,” Vol. 86, No. 14, Presidential Documents, January 25, 2021,
7 U.S. Department of Agriculture, “SNAP Participation Rates by State,”

Updated: 02/01/2023