Hawaii offers food stamps to more working families

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii is offering food stamps to 22,000 more residents by opening the program to more working families in need. Hawaii Department of Human Services Director Lillian Koller announced Wednesday the state on October 1 will start offering food stamps to those who make less than double the federal poverty line - about $51,000 a year for a family of four.

Benefits averaging $217 a month per person will bring $60 million a year in federal money to the state through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

There were about 145,000 Hawaii residents participating in the program last month. The number of food stamp recipients has jumped nationally during the economic downturn, from about 30 million people two years ago to 41 million now.

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