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Bridging Hawaii’s Hunger Gap

October 12, 2020

From the Office for Social Ministry

CARES Act Funds to help struggling families during the pandemic are currently scheduled to expire by the end of the year; but basic needs for food, shelter and other essential services are continuing to grow. 160-thousand Hawaii residents are struggling just to put food on the table, according to Feeding America statistics. Many of those facing food insecurity are senior citizens and young children. We applaud all our parish food pantries and other charitable programs who are doing what they can to feed those in need. But additional government assistance has been––and will continue to be critical in bridging Hawaii’s hunger gap. Thankfully the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), has assured it will continue to maintain the following three federal food assistance programs well beyond this current crisis. If you, or someone you know, is in need, please share the following links for information on eligibility and application forms:

1)      The Senior Food Box Program, also known as Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)provides low-income kupuna age 60 and above with monthly food boxes containing nutritious food that include fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and dairy products. To apply, please visit the following links according to each county.

2)      Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)provides low-income seniors with vouchers to purchase fruits, vegetables, honey and fresh herbs from authorized farmers’ markets. Please note participants with expired coupons are still able to redeem vouchers through November. New applications can apply in 2021. For information, visit the following links:

3)      The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)provides low-income residents (including the elderly) with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost.  If you are in need of Emergency Food Assistance, visit any of our parish food ministries or neighboring pantries who are member agencies of your local food bank.  New participants will be asked to complete an application onsite. For more information, please visit the following links.