Lindenwood selected as pilot campus for social services


Lindenwood University entrance off of First Capitol Drive.
Photo by Kelby Lorenz

Amanda May, Reporter

Lindenwood is one of seven college campuses in Missouri to serve as a pilot campus for some Lindenwood community members to get food stamps, child-care assistance and help with medical bills.  

The program started at Lindenwood in October 2020, and the services are available to students on Fridays. The Department of Education administers the project, and institutions had to apply to participate in the pilot program project.  

Other pilot campuses include Logan University, Missouri Southern State University, North Central Missouri College, Park University, Rockhurst University, and Ozarks Technical Community College.  

Jonathan Hunn, director of the Student Counseling and Resource Center, said in an email that these services do not cost money, however, eligibility is based on income.  

“To qualify for services students, faculty and staff must meet certain income guidelines outlined by the state,” Hunn said.  

Ken Cusumano Jr., benefit program manager and family support division correspondence/information specialist, said in an email that there are four main programs administered by the Department of Social Services.

These programs include Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Child Care Assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and MOHealthnet–also known as Medicaid. 

“The SNAP program offers assistance with purchasing food and beverages for low income families and individuals,” Cusumano Jr. said. “TANF is a small cash benefit offered to low income families with children in the home.

“Child Care Assistance is a subsidy paid directly to the registered daycare provider assisting the household to cover the cost of daycare, copays are normally required.”

 MOHealthnet is a health insurance program offered by the state which is available to low income families, disabled individuals, people over 65, and pregnant women.

Each program available receives funding from various sources including state funding, federal funding, grants, or a combination of these. The office can also refer Lindenwood community members to local resources if needed.

“Sometimes the student/staff are in need of a service that we do not provide, in this case we are usually able to refer them to a local resource who offers this service,” Cusumano Jr. said.

He went on to describe the response of the program’s presence at Lindenwood.  

“The overall response has been very positive,” Cusumano Jr. said. “We believe that participation has been slow due to the COVID procedures in place along with holidays and attending classes remotely. We expect participation to increase as more students learn about our presence on their campus.

“Having a resource available to the students and staff can help them navigate their way through the process of applying for assistance.” 

Hunn also emphasized that these services, as well as all services provided by the Resource Center are confidential.  

I think the most important thing for the Lindenwood community should know is that this program and all services that are provided by the SCRC are confidential,” Hunn said. 

Appointments can be made with the Department of Social Services through the SCRC by calling 636-949-4541. For more information, visit the SCRC website.