HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - If you’re one of the more than 36,000 food stamp recipients on Hawaii Island, there’s a new reason to eat your fruit and vegetables.
Starting Wednesday, the “Da Bux” Double Up Food Bucks program will be offered at all seven KTA Super Store locations.
The program is simple: Recipients of food stamps, formally known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, will essentially get a big discount on locally-grown produce.
“It provides EBT (electronic benefits transfer) customers the opportunity to purchase local, island grown vegetables and fruit at a very discounted price," said KTA Vice President Richard Chinen.
“It’s a dollar-for-dollar match.”
The program is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
On average, there will be close to two dozen types of produce on special each week ― and customers can save up to $20 a day.
“We have a really long working relationship with the Food Basket," said Chinen. "When they approached us with this project it was a no-brainer actually. It’s going to benefit the community and also our local farmers.”
In addition to helping low-income families put healthy food on their tables, the program is also poised to give Big Island farmers a boost.
“It really provides them the ability to grow their businesses and diversified their crops and reach new customers which is really what it’s all about," said Kristin Frost Albrecht, executive director of the Hawaii Food Basket.
Signing up for the program is simple. Just go to the courtesy counter at KTA stores.
You can also sign up at the Food Basket.
“All we need to know is their name and the last four digits of their EBT card,” said Chinen. “We will put a sticker on their card that needs to be scanned at the register during the transaction.”
As the program launches, lawmakers are already considering a proposal that would take it island-wide.