Expanding Head Start Services to SNAP Recipients

Jun 28, 2022

Akron, Ohio — The Office of Head Start (OHS) has included receipt of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in the interpretation of “public assistance” when determining Head Start eligibility.

The Community Action Akron Summit Head Start Program can now consider SNAP as “public assistance” for purposes of determining Head Start eligibility.

The SNAP income-based eligibility threshold of 130% of federal poverty guideline is slightly higher than income-based Head Start eligibility (100% of poverty). 

The inclusion of SNAP benefits as public assistance will expand the pool of eligible participants in Head Start programs for households. 

Eligibility for or receipt of SNAP makes a family categorically eligible for Head Start services. Since a family is categorically eligible, they do not need to have their income verified. Therefore, it will not matter if the family’s income is equal to, below, or above the poverty line. However, Head Start programs are required to continue to enroll and serve the most vulnerable in their communities based on the Program’s selection criteria.

This new policy decision amplifies the Head Start mission of serving those who can most benefit from services.

Decades of research shows that participation in Head Start has both short- and long-term positive effects for Head Start children and their families. Children who attend Head Start demonstrate marked academic and social progress, and are more likely to enter kindergarten ready to learn.

The Head Start/Early Head Start enrollment application is on-line on our website.

Visit Apply Online ( to register your child for Head Start in just a few short minutes.

Community Action Akron Summit is a private non-profit corporation operating various programs that assist Summit County residents to become self-sufficient.  These programs include:  Head Start/Early Head Start, The Foster Grandparent Program, Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Pathways HUB Community Action Akron Summit, Akron Summit Earned Income Tax Credit Program (EITC), CHORE and Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP)