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State To Recalculate SNAP Food Benefits

SNAP is working on recalculating food benefits for Hawaii state due to the high grocery and food costs in Hawaii.

January 19, 2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is planning to recalculate SNAP Benefits in Hawaii due to exceptionally high food costs.

At present, USDA is working on acquiring information on current food costs in the state which are higher than anywhere else in the U.S. with a plan to increase how Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients help them with high grocery costs.

SNAP, also known as food stamps, is meant to benefit low and no-income households along with senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, and other vulnerable people to ensure they have access to food. The amount of financial aid received by the SNAP recipients is based on the total income of the household. A household having more family members will receive higher amounts depending on their earnings.

The extent to which SNAP food benefits might be increased remains undetermined. The USDA is currently in the process of gathering information to assess potential increases, with this phase of data collection set to continue until March 4.

The research reveals that 193,000 residents of the islands rely on the SNAP program to buy groceries. Across all the 50 states, Hawaii has the highest food costs. For instance, Honolulu residents on average pay $638.57 for groceries every month which is more than the national average of $415.53.

SNAP eligibility is determined based on a household’s monthly income, which encompasses earnings from employment and various benefits such as Social Security, child support, unemployment insurance, and cash assistance. As of the July 2023 report, it is revealed that 12.5 percent of the U.S. population relies on SNAP benefits.

The assets of the household such as funds saved in the regular account are also considered in SNAP assessments. Other assets like property, personal belongings, and retirement savings are not counted for eligibility as these are not easily accessible.

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Higham Aliss. “SNAP Food Benefits To Be Recalculated for One State”. News Week, January 19, 2024,
SNAP Food Benefits To Be Recalculated for One State (newsweek.com)

Last Updated: September 20, 2021