HINET Program Helps College Students with Food, Expenses

February 16, 2019, 9:00 AM HST (Updated February 15, 2019, 2:07 PM)
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Leomana Turalde, Windward CC natural sciences student. Courtesy photo.

The University of Hawai‘i is helping students in need with a support program that can provide more than $4,700 a year for food, transportation, books and other expenses.

Called Hawai‘i Nutrition Employment and Training (HINET), the program applies to students enrolled at any UH community college taking at least six credits in an approved program. Students must also qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP) to be eligible.

Students approved for HINET may substitute their education and employment training for the 20-hour work week required by USDA, which allows them to maintain their benefits while pursuing a college degree.

Current and prospective community college students may apply for the program online at www.hinethawaii.org.

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Leomana Turalde, a Windward Community College natural sciences student said of the program: “The biggest issue I feel like I had was worrying about how am I going to eat, how am I going to stay healthy, how am I going to get places and HINET helped me just relax about hey we got money we got help to cover food, we don’t gotta stress about that, I can focus on just my schoolwork.”

HINET launched in 2015 and was developed by the State of Hawai‘i Department of Human Services in partnership with Windward CC. The program accepts philanthropic donations and contributions are matched by 50%. Donations in support of HINET may be given online via credit card at www.uhfoundation.org/HINET or by calling (808) 956-8849.

Administrators say if the current operating budget were to increase from $656,000 to $ 1.4 million, 1,000 to 1,400 students could potentially be served. The program currently serves roughly 200 students.

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