Hawaii governor extends COVID-19 food assistance spending

HONOLULU — Hawaii Gov. David Ige has signed an emergency proclamation allowing federal funds to continue to flow to food assistance recipients during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic national public health emergency, his office said Thursday.

The proclamation allows $18 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP benefits to go to recipients each month.

It will expire on May 24 or when the health emergency ends, whichever is sooner. The governor could also end it with a separate proclamation.

The number of people receiving SNAP benefits in Hawaii jumped 36% during the pandemic. These benefits are sometimes colloquially referred to as food stamps.

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