Basic Food and Employment Training

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) program?

BFET is an employment and training program created through the Department of Agriculture under the Farm Bill that provides a variety of employment services to recipients of federally issued food stamps. These food stamps are known as SNAP in most of the country but Basic Food in the state of Washington.

What programs will BFET support at Edmonds CC?

BFET is an employment program designed to help students gain access to training and education - BFET will support the Professional/Technical non-transfer programs. The BFET grant is designed for students to complete short-term vocational training and move forward to job search and employment. Through BFET, a student is eligible to earn a single Associate of Technical Arts (ATA) degree and the embedded certificates in that degree. At the completion of the ATA or certificate program, a student in BFET is expected to obtain employment.

Are all the Professional/Technical non-transfer programs approved by BFET?

In general terms, yes, with an important clarification: Your program of study must be considered to be in a field that is in demand for employment based on the statewide ESD Demand/Decline list of occupations. If there is a question regarding the employability of a requested program – it will be the student’s responsibility to prove to BFET that they can gain employment in the field with the studies at Edmonds CC.

Here is the link to the Demand/Decline list by county.

Are transfer degrees eligible for BFET?

No, transfer degrees, direct or limited, can not be approved for BFET.

Will BFET help me pay the college admission fee before my application is approved?

Yes. If you are currently receiving food stamps, BFET can give you a fee waiver form.

BFET, Worker Retraining, Opportunity Grant and WorkFirst all share a common application. Am I applying for these other programs too?

All four of these programs are part of the Workforce Education Division of Edmonds CC, and many students are eligible for several of these programs. These grants are working together to provide the greatest level of service to our students with a minimum of additional paperwork. If you apply with any of these programs, you will be screened for eligibility in the other programs with this one application.

How does BFET decide who can participate?

BFET has created a year-round Funding and Eligibility Committee that screens all applications to the program. BFET eligibility is based on your food stamps, program of study, and DSHS status (no TANF). A person can be eligible for BFET but not funded by the grant — perhaps the student already receives financial aid and is not eligible for additional grant dollars. Perhaps BFET has already funded tuition and books in a prior quarter. Since BFET students can present a variety of needs to attend school — all applications are screened by the BFET Program Specialist and the Director of the program. Students may request a review of the Funding and Eligibility Committee decision if circumstances have changed.

BFET requires students to apply for financial aid — what is the value of BFET then?

BFET financial assistance can provide a bridge for the student awaiting award of their financial aid. BFET will review a student's entire financial aid package and provide additional assistance if possible inside the student budget with Financial Aid. BFET provides an additional set of support services, including priority registration, childcare, basic food referrals to DSHS, and employment services to the BFET eligible student.

Will BFET fund my entire program?

BFET is not funded to cover the entire program of study for every student that applies. The goal of BFET is to help a student with funding while they wait to access their financial aid. BFET reviews each student's need every quarter against their financial aid budget and available BFET funds. If BFET can provide assistance - the grant will consider additional funding.

When can I know if I qualify for childcare with BFET?

After you submit a complete application and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) has approved you for BFET, DSHS and Working Connections Childcare will decide if you qualify for childcare. You will need to meet with BFET staff to complete on-campus training plan created by BFET staff as part of the eligibility process.

Financial Aid requires me to petition for reinstatement in order to continue at Edmonds CC. Will BFET pay my tuition and books while I petition or if I am not approved by Financial Aid?

Financial Aid tracks academic progress for most programs on campus, BFET included. In order for BFET to fund a student, all petitions must be approved by Financial Aid.

I have an advanced degree. Can I apply for BFET?

Students with advanced degrees can apply for BFET approved programs, but funding will be based on availability.

Do I need to have my GED or HS21+ completion to enroll in the vocational programs with BFET?

You can earn the GED® or HS21+ completion through the BFET program. DSHS requires students earning either one through BFET to be 21 or older.

Why is the Academic Planning Sheet so important?

The Academic Planning Sheet is your road map for classes. It is the college's guideline for knowing what classes you require to complete your program. BFET uses the Academic Planning Sheet to seek your approval from DSHS for training. BFET expects all students to adhere to their plan and take required courses to remain eligible.

What is an Individual Employment Plan (IEP)?

The BFET grant requires each participant to have an Individual Employment Plan (IEP). The IEP is an employment goal document in the same way the Academic Plan is a document for your classes. BFET students will have started their IEP when they complete the program application. The IEP will help the student prepare for employment.

How does BFET help with employment?

The BFET grant in Snohomish County now has a number of Community Based Organizations (CBO) that work directly with BFET students to help them with their job search. This is one-to-one assistance and provides a variety of BFET support services, such as child care, during the job search. BFET has CBO partners for English as Second Language (ESL) students as well as our General Education Development (GED®), HS21 (high school diploma for those over 21), and vocational students. Referrals can be made to our CBO partners at any time during your eligibility with BFET.

Do I have to keep my food stamps to participate in BFET?

Absolutely. If your food benefits are closed for any reason, BFET will not receive approval from DSHS for your continued participation.

Can I be on TANF and BFET at the same time?

No. Students receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) are not eligible for BFET. Students wishing financial assistance from BFET must be off TANF completely before the quarter begins. This means you must notify DSHS before the 20th of the month prior to the start of the quarter.

What if DSHS requires me to participate in BFET to receive my Basic Food Benefits?

If DSHS requires you to participate in BFET program to maintain Basic Food Benefits eligibility, you need to apply for BFET. If you are prroved for BFET, we will provide you with a Basic Food Referral to DSHS.