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USDA raises summer meal benefits for children in Hawai‘i : Maui Now

February 1, 2024, 2:00 PM HST

To account for the higher cost of food in the state, children in Hawai‘i will receive $59 per month, compared to $40 per month in the continental United States for meal benefits, starting this summer.

The USDA made the announcement to increase benefits in Hawai‘i following calls led by US senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawai‘i) and US representatives Ed Case (D-Hawai‘i) and Jill Tokuda (D-Hawai‘i).

In requesting the adjustment, the delegation cited USDA’s benefit adjustments for Hawai‘i for other federally-funded food assistance programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the National School Lunch and National School Breakfast programs.

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“For too many children, a school meal is often the only time they have something nutritious to eat,” said Congressman Ed Case. “Our Hawai‘i delegation will continue to do what we can to fight hunger – from keiki to kupuna.”

This addition to the permanent summer EBT program, authorized in the Consolidated Appropriations Act in 2023, builds on pandemic-era initiatives, such as the P-EBT that provided benefits to more than 95,000 children in Hawai‘i in 2023, according to the State Department of Human Services.

Source: Maui News

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