Hawaii Gov. David Ige extends SNAP emergency proclamation once again

Gov. David Ige has signed a fourth emergency proclamation allowing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program emergency allotment benefits to continue in the state in line with the federal COVID emergency.

The SNAP program provides food and nutritional support to qualifying low-income and needy households as well as to those transitioning from public assistance to self-sufficiency. The proclamation extends the disaster emergency relief period to Nov. 18.

“Food insecurity is just one of the lingering effects of the pandemic, and SNAP benefits provide Hawaii families with nutritious food,” said Ige in a news release. “It’s important for families to reach out so they can get the help they need.”

Ige has extended the emergency proclamation several times — in March, May and July — due to a continued need for families in Hawaii to receive SNAP benefits since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The third emergency proclamation Ige signed extended the funding through Tuesday.

The fourth proclamation noted that for the month of August, 86,490 families received additional benefits of about $17.7 million in SNAP allotments to address food needs.

Families continue to suffer from food insecurity due to the effects of the pandemic coupled with the continued increase in the cost of daily living, including groceries, child care, transportation and utility costs as “record inflation rates climb along with unprecedented gas prices.”

SNAP — managed by the US Department of Agriculture — is the largest food nutrition assistance program in the country. It is administered in Hawaii by the Department of Human Services Benefit, Employment & Support Services Division.

DHS reminds the public that the federal government requires recipients of SNAP and Financial Assistance Programs to recertify or renew their eligibility annually, which is the case for most households, in order to receive continued benefits.

Households are now able to upload required documents online at pais-benefits.dhs.hawaii.gov.

Renewal interviews, however, must be completed via telephone. Recipients who need assistance with this process or information about the status of their recertification should call the Public Assistance Toll-Free Information Line at 1-855-643-1643.

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