New CUNY initiative connecting students to social service benefits going unspent

A new initiative launched at CUNY campuses in the Bronx on Monday is helping to get students access to help they may not even know exists.  
Millions of dollars in social service benefits are currently going unspent, and this program is looking to get money in the hands of those who need it.  
The new pilot program, CUNY Cares, is a one-stop shop to make it easier for students in need to get the food, housing, and health care help they’re entitled to.  
CUNY officials estimate that over $25 million in benefits from programs like SNAP, WIC, and Medicaid are going unclaimed by Bronx CUNY students. The CUNY program is kicking off by turning to students at Lehman College, Hostos Community College, and Bronx Community College to connect with eligible peers.  
“About 40% of all our students would qualify in one way or another for many of those programs, and, but the sad reality is that only 40% of the ones that qualify are taking advantage of that,” said CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez.  
Education officials will monitor the impact on retention and graduation rates for this program, and hope to expand it to all 22 CUNY campuses.