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Following Calls Led By Hirono, Hawaii Congressional Delegation, USDA Increases Summer Meal Benefit For Kids

~ Delegation Worked With USDA To Push For Increase For Hawaii ~

WASHINGTON, DC – Following calls led by U.S. Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Brian Schatz and U.S. Representatives Ed Case (D-HI) and Jill Tokuda (D-HI), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will increase the recently-authorized summer meal benefit for children in Hawai‘i to account for the higher cost of food in the state. This summer, children in Hawai‘i will receive $59 per month, compared to $40 per month in the continental U.S.

“I appreciate the USDA working with us to increase benefits to feed Hawai‘i’s keiki,” said Senator Hirono. “As we work to make sure every child has the support to learn and grow, this adjustment will help to increase food security and ensure children have access to healthy meals throughout the year.”

Congress permanently authorized a summer EBT program last year, building on successful pandemic-era initiatives that helped prevent children from low-income households from going hungry. More than 95,000 children in Hawai‘i received benefits this year through the Summer Pandemic EBT program. In requesting the adjustment, the Hawaii delegation cited USDA’s benefit adjustments for Hawaii for other federally-funded food assistance programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the National School Lunch and National School Breakfast programs.