DHS EXTENDS SNAP HOT FOODS BENEFIT THROUGH DECEMBER 31Posted on Nov 11, 2023 in Featured, Main, NEWS
DHS EXTENDS SNAP HOT FOODS BENEFIT THROUGH DECEMBER 31
HONOLULU — The Department of Human Services (DHS) has received approval for another request to extend the SNAP Hot Food Program waiver through December 31, 2023.
This means SNAP participants may purchase hot foods and hot food products prepared for immediate consumption with their benefits at authorized SNAP retailers statewide through December 31, 2023.
As we approach the holidays, extending the SNAP Hot Foods waiver is critical as many individuals remain in temporary lodging situations where they may not have access to cook and prepare meals. See additional information below from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
Hawai‘i Media Contact:
State of Hawai‘i Department of Human Services
Amanda Stevens – Public Information Officer
November 9, 2023
On August 16, 2023, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) approved an initial request from the Hawai‘i Department of Human Services (“the State agency”/DHS) to temporarily allow households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to purchase hot foods with program benefits at authorized retailers in all five counties in Hawai‘i through September 14, 2023, due to the wildfires that occurred in early August. FNS has since approved additional requests from the state agency to extend this waiver through October 14, 2023, and then through November 13, 2023, respectively.
On November 8, 2023, DHS requested an extension of this waiver for an additional 30 days, citing again that SNAP households throughout the state continue to be displaced from their homes or are otherwise unable to purchase and prepare food.
FNS recognizes that the August wildfires caused immense damage to parts of Maui County, particularly in the town of Lahaina, and appreciates and commends the state’s desire to assist SNAP households recovering from this unprecedented disaster. However, while a SNAP hot foods waiver provides temporary relief to displaced SNAP households following a disaster, we must note that, like all other SNAP disaster waivers, it cannot serve as an indefinite remedy to ongoing, long-term circumstances and challenges caused by that same disaster.
With this understanding, FNS grants a final extension of the current hot foods waiver through December 31, 2023. Through this date, DHS may continue to waive the statutory definition of “food” under Section 3(k)(1) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 and accompanying regulations at 7 CFR 271.2 by temporarily allowing SNAP households to purchase hot foods with program benefits at authorized retailers. FNS will notify authorized retailers in the approved counties.
FNS approves this waiver under the authority of Section 412 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, and Section 5(h)(1) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008.