State food stamp program renamed

Hawai‘i’s food stamp program was renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) October 1. This is in keeping with the new federal name for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program, required by the 2008 Farm Bill. The name change to SNAP will not affect any benefits received by clients.

The new name reflects the importance of making healthy meals available to low-income households. The new name also reflects the fact that food “stamps” have not been issued in Hawai‘i since 1998. Instead, clients purchase groceries using an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, which looks like a regular credit or debit card.

Hawai‘i’s nutrition program, administered by the State Department of Human Services, has received numerous accolades from the USDA in recent years, including financial bonuses for having one of the most accurate payment rates in the nation and for increasing access to this important benefit. About 101,655 Hawai‘i residents are enrolled in SNAP.

To apply for nutrition assistance through SNAP, Hawai‘i residents can call 2-1-1.

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