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Funds available for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

By Staff | Aug 12, 2010

LAHAINA — The Salvation Army and Bank of Hawaii have teamed up to assist qualified families in Maui County to access Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds.    

More than 20 volunteer bank officers from Bank of Hawaii are available from now through Sept. 1 to assist eligible families in filling out forms for the program.

Last year, an estimated $17 million in SNAP funds went uncollected in Hawaii.

“With the assistance of Bank of Hawaii volunteers, the application process takes about 30 minutes to complete. This allowed the Salvation Army to submit over 50 applications to the Department of Human Services for processing during the month of June,” said Dan Merritt of the Salvation Army.

A national program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), SNAP provides qualified households with an electronic card that can be used at most grocery stores to ensure access to a healthy diet.

In Hawaii, the average monthly benefit from SNAP was more than $145 per person.

“We are pleased to be able to partner with The Salvation Army in an effort to help those most in need. This pilot program will provide much-needed assistance to assist residents who need the help filling out the necessary forms to apply for SNAP,” said Kevin Baptist, Bank of Hawaii senior vice president and Maui County regional and island manager.

To participate in a five-minute pre-qualification screening, or re-certification, call Dan Merritt at (808) 268-2760 or Michelle Kupau at (808) 264-8852.

Once approved, an appointment to meet with trained representatives at the following Bank of Hawaii sessions will be scheduled: Saturday, Aug. 14, at Hana Health Center; Wednesday, Aug. 18, at Bank of Hawaii’s Lahaina Branch;  Wednesday, Aug. 25, at Bank of Hawaii’s Pukalani Branch; and Wednesday, Sept. 1, at Bank of Hawaii’s Kihei Branch.

For information, visit www.SalvationArmyHawaii.org.