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As a UIC student, resident of Illinois, American citizen, or legal permanent resident of the USA for 5 years or more, you are eligible to apply for a variety of social services that will help to provide funding, help with utilities, childcare, food, and ultimately support your academic journey.

SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It helps food insecure individuals and families gain access to food.

Although this is an excellent benefit, be aware that the application process can take 30 to 45 days before you receive an answer of “Approved” or “Denied”. Submitting an application requires documentation and the sharing of personal information such as Date of Birth, Household Income, Social Security Number, etc. Most social services include a review process and applying is not a guarantee you will receive benefits.

During your application process, if you are a registered UIC student, you can also use the UIC Pop-Up Pantry. Visit the Wellness Center’s front desk on Monday, Tuesday, or Friday (9:00am to 4:00pm) to complete a quick ten-minute application (no financial information is asked). You will be able to start shopping at the very next Pantry, which is open every Wednesday and Thursday (1:00 to 4:00pm). For more information, call: 312-413-2120.

Familiarize yourself with the agencies below and choose the one that best suits you. Many of them offer eligibility consultations prior to completing an application and they also offer assistance to complete an application once eligibility is confirmed.  Each of the agencies below offers support on completing a SNAP application. However, regardless of which agency you use, all online SNAP application submissions take place on the ABE website (see below).

As you move forward with this process, practice safe internet skills, clear your browser of cookies, don’t use public browsers, close browsers after submission, and finally, make sure that the agency you use is legitimate and does not sell your information.

Disclaimer: The UIC Wellness Center has no affiliation with the resources listed below. This content is an informational guide on community and campus resources for UIC students. We recommend all users do their own investigative research to determine if a resource/service is safe and best suited for their needs.

Illinois Department of Human Services Heading link



Visit Website to Apply for SNAP by: Phone, Online, Paper, or by visiting local Office

Who are they: Official State of Illinois Agency

What they do: They oversee SNAP benefits through ABE (see below) and provide equitable access to a variety of social/human services, supports, programs and resources to enhance the lives of Illinois residents. Visit their website to view the menu of services they provide and see how they can help you beyond SNAP.

Application for Benefits Eligibility (ABE) Heading link



Apply for SNAP by: Online (ABE website), phone, or paper (mail)

Who are they: Official online State approved platform to apply for benefits

ABE (Application for Benefits Eligibility) is an internet application for State benefits that is partnered with the Illinois Department of Human Services, Get Covered Illinois, and the Illinois Department of Human and Family Services.

What they do:

  • Identify eligibility
  • Help to complete and submit application
  • Assists in redetermination status
  • Assists with changes to application
  • Helps users manage their case
  • Helps users request new benefit programs offered with the State of Illinois (E.g., SNAP, cash assistance, Medicaid, Medicare Savings programs, TANF)

Greater Chicago Food Depository Heading link


Who are they: An independent, non-governmental organization that has been serving the Chicagoland Area for the past 40 years

GCFD Strives to end hunger by connecting our neighbors with healthy food and advancing solutions that address the root causes of hunger.

Visit Website to apply for SNAP: Website or Phone

GCFD SNAP Website:

Hotline number for assistance: 773-843-5416.

What they do: 

  • Identify eligibility
  • Help to complete and submit application over the phone
  • Assists in advocating with DHS application if not approved
  • Helps users manage their case
  • All information shared is confidential
  • Pre-approval forms available for eligibility