Maui News

Hawai’i Gets $1.5 Million to Feed Low Income Children

August 29, 2011, 8:41 AM HST
* Updated August 29, 9:19 AM
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By Wendy Osher

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, photo by Wendy Osher.

The Hawai’i Department of Education has received nearly $1.5 million in competitive grant funds from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The DOE’s Office of Hawai’i Child Nutrition Programs will receive the largest amount of any of the six award-winning states.

The nutrition program is aimed at ensuring eligible children have access to healthy school meals.

Last year (FY2010), more than 117,000 children in Hawaii participated in the school lunch program in Hawai’i. An estimated 36,000 kids participated in the school breakfast program, and 6,200 kids participated in the summer food service program.

“Hawaii’s fiscal situation continues to be difficult,” said Congresswoman Mazie Hirono (D-Hawai’i). “Tens of thousands of our keiki depend on nutritional programs for healthy meals. I commend the State Department of Education for going after this federal funding to help more of our neediest children,” said Hirono, who is a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

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Children from families with incomes at or below 130% of the poverty level are eligible for free meals. Those with incomes between 130% and 185% of the poverty level are eligible for reduced-price meals.

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