Food Insecurity in Tennessee Higher Education


The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) is committed to addressing barriers to post-secondary attainment. T.C.A. § 49-7-214 mandates THEC to submit a report to the Tennessee General Assembly on issues of food insecurity among students at public institutions of higher education in Tennessee by December 31, 2023.

Food Insecurity in Tennessee Higher Education Convening, November 15th 2022

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) convened stakeholders of food insecurity in higher education to discuss the extent of food insecurity across Tennessee higher education institutions and the intervention strategies used by institutions.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Tennessee Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can provide supplemental income for purchasing food for low-income households. Additional student SNAP eligibility information can be found here and a student eligibility check list can be found here.  Information on how the COVID-19 public health emergency affected SNAP access for students can be found here.  One-on-one help with SNAP applications, appeals, or student advocacy can be found here.

Apply for the Tennessee SNAP here.

For more information on the end of the temporary student exemptions, please refer to USDA’s memo “End of Temporary Student Exemptions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.” 

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

WIC provides supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk. Additional WIC information can be found here.

Tennessee Quick Screener

The TN Quick Screener is an online tool that allows users to be screened for six key support services, as well as information about four additional programs. These key support services include SNAP, TANF, WIC, Lifeline, Earned Income Tax Credit, and Child Tax Credit. It also provides information about WIOA, Smart Steps Childcare Payment Assistance, Tennessee Reconnect Grant, and SNAP Employment and Training.

Graduate Student Resources

Food insecurity is not limited to undergraduate students. This custom guide shares resources and support for graduate students experiencing basic needs insecurity.

Tennessee Justice Center

The Tennessee Justice Center (TJC) assists Tennesseans to learn about and apply for SNAP, WIC, and Child Nutrition Programs. Additional food insecurity resources and information for college students can be found here.

For questions on food insecurity in Tennessee higher education, please email