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Last updated 10/06/2020

Office of Community Services (OCS) assists Hawaii’s low-income, immigrant and refugee populations to overcome and alleviate workforce barriers to economic self-sufficiency through an array of community-based programs and services. OCS primarily contracts and administers program services on behalf of the State and Federal governments. OCS allocated funds using a competitive purchase of services process unless the funding source authority direct the award to a specific organization(s).

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Supplemental Funds

In the State of Hawaii, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes the supplemental funds for the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.”

The CSBG program is a federal, anti-poverty block grant which funds the operations of a state-administered network of local Community Action Agencies (CAAs). It is estimated that Hawaii will receive $5,250,944 from the CARES Act for the CSBG program with the period of performance staring on March 27, 2020 and ending on September 30, 2022. The CARES Act authorizes states to revise the income limit for eligibility ceiling from 125 to 200 percent of the federal poverty level for CSBG services provided, including services provided with the state’s regular CSBG appropriations during the period of performance. CARES Act funds allocated to the CSBG program will be used to support and possibly expand anti-poverty programs that the CAAs currently provide. Some of these programs include, but are not limited to, rental and utility bill assistance, food delivery for seniors and disabled, support for existing food programs like Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, transportation services particularly for seniors and disabled, childcare, employment programs, homeless prevention, and emergency shelters. CSBG CAAs may also use the funds to coordinate services and refer clients to other resources needed to address client’s situations. CSBG CAAs may also use the funds for other programs as they deem necessary to address the current situation and in the recovery efforts to address the economic and community consequences of the outbreak in accordance with the CSBG Act.

TEFAP is a federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost. It is estimated that Hawaii will receive $1,278,688 from the CARES Act for TEFAP with food expected to be delivered by December 31, 2020. The client income eligibility level is 185 percent or below the federal poverty level for TEFAP services. CARES Act funds allocated to TEFAP will be used only on food purchasing. As food bank storage depletes at record rates, increasing the State of Hawaii’s food supply continues to be the greatest need in terms of what TEFAP can provide.

Both the CSBG program and TEFAP provide services throughout the State of Hawaii. Please see the contact information below for both programs:

Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Program

County Community Action Agencies Address Phone Number
City and County of Honolulu Honolulu Community Action Program, Inc. 1132 Bishop Street, Suite 100
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
(808) 521-4531
Hawaii County Hawaii County Economic Opportunity 47 Rainbow Drive
Hilo, Hawaii 96720
(808) 961-2681
Kauai County Kauai Economic Opportunity, Inc. 2804 Wehe Road
Lihue, Hawaii 96766
(808) 245-4077
Maui County Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. 99 Mahalani Street
Wailuku, Hawaii 96793
(808) 249-2990

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

County Service Providers Address Phone Number
City and County of Honolulu Hawaii Foodbank, Inc. 2611 Kilihau Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96819-2021
(808) 836-3600
Hawaii County The Food Basket, Inc. 140-B Holomua Street
Hilo, Hawaii 96720
(808) 933-6030
Kauai County Hawaii Foodbank- Kauai Branch 4241 A Hanahao Place
Lihue, Hawaii 96766
(808) 246-3809
Maui County Maui Food Bank, Inc. 760 Kolu Street
Wailuku, Hawaii 96793
(808) 243-9500

Below are a few of the other programs that OCS administers:

Grants-in-Aid (GIA)

OCS is one of several state agencies that administers the state’s Grant-in-Aid program in accordance with Chapter 42F of the Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS). The Hawaii State Legislature awards grants funded by the State under Hawaii Revised Statutes, Chapter 42F. Chapter 42F Grants (frequently known as “Grants-in-Aid” or GIAs) are awarded for two types of requests:

  • Capital Improvement Projects (CIPs) to construct and/or repair buildings and other facilities.
  • Operating funds to support programs.

Click the link above for more information about GIAs.

Guidelines for current Grantees are located here:

Applications for new GIAs will be made available on the Hawaii State Legislature’s website: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/GIA/GIA.aspx. For more information, please contact the House Committee on Finance or Senate Committee on Ways and Means. The Office of Community Services does not handle the applications for new GIAs.


Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Program

The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) was established by Congress in the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 as part of the War on Poverty. The purpose of the Economic Opportunity Act is to provide federal funding to local Community Action Agencies (CAAs) in order to deliver a range of services to assist low-income families and individuals. These programs aim to reduce poverty, revitalize low-income communities, and empower low-income families and individuals to become fully self-sufficient through community action.

Click the link above for more information about CSBG.


Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) 

The Office of Community Services (OCS) administers the  Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) which provides coupons to low-income seniors to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers’ markets, roadside stands and community supported agriculture programs. 

Click the link above for more information about SFMNP.

New for Federal Fiscal Years 2021 – 2022: OCS Request for Information to Potential Service Providers – Please respond by October 15, 2020. 


Information on Hawaii Handbook for Immigrants is available: Click here