Federal Food Assistance Programs

Last Updated 03/07/2022

The Office of Community Services (OSC) administers three (3) Federal food assistance programs in Hawaii under the direction of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as follows:

Program Program Description Qualifications Participation
 Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) Works to improve the health of low-income elderly persons at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with a box of nutritious USDA foods. 
  • Age Eligibility: Participants must be at least 60 years of age.
  • Income Eligibility: Each applicant must provide documentation showing that their monthly household income is at or below 130% of the U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines for the State of Hawaii.
  • Residency Eligibility: Applicants must provide documentation showing that they reside in the service area to which they are applying for.
  • Each participant may receive CSFP benefits at one (1) distribution location. 

To participate, complete an application form and bring it, along with your documentation, to a certification site in your county.

Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) SFMNP grants are used to provide low-income seniors with eligible foods (fruits, vegetables, honey and fresh cut herbs) from authorized farmers,  farmers’ markets, and roadside stands during  the “harvest season” (April 1 – October 31).
  • Age Eligibility:
    • Individuals who are at least 60 years old.
  • Income Eligibility: Maximum household total gross income of 185% or below of the U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines for the State of Hawaii.
    • Individual Household – $31,025
    • Two-Person Household – $41,958
  • Residency Requirement:  Participants must be a resident of the State of Hawaii and must reside in the county of the service area they apply to.
  • Applications2023 applications are now available.  
To print or download a 2023 SFMNP application please use the link below for the local agency in your County.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) Helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. 
  • Income Eligibility: For an individual or household to be eligible for TEFAP commodities in the State of Hawaii, they must have a total gross income no greater than 185% of the amount specified in the U.S.  Federal Poverty Guidelines for the State of Hawaii.
  • Applicants must document their eligibility by filling out and signing a certification of self-declaration of income. 

To participate, visit a soup kitchen or participating food pantry in your area.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: https://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: [email protected]. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.