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New funding that aims to coordinate the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with other programs in combating childhood hunger includes a grant for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Children’s Healthy Living Center of Excellence (CHL).

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, with support from the American Public Human Services Association, will invest nearly $2 million with six SNAP agencies, including Hawaiʻi.

The initial goal is to track trends in co-enrollment, identify the characteristics of vulnerable populations that do not enroll in eligible programs, and guide future programs and policies. Ultimately the initiative hopes to streamline policy, programs and resources that impact children and families.

“This grant helps us form an important collaboration for coordinating data systems on food, nutrition and health-related programs,” said Rachel Novotny of CHL and the Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences. “This will enhance program efficiency and effectiveness for Hawaiʻi’s children and families.”

During the 18-month project, CHL will provide technical assistance in data integration and analytics. Following the grant period, CHL will continue to help link data systems and evaluate existing nutrition programs. The project is rooted in the ʻOhana Nui framework, which seeks to end intergenerational poverty by addressing the needs of multigenerational households.

This work is an example of UH Mānoa’s goal of Excellence in Research: Advancing the Research and Creative Work Enterprise (PDF), one of four goals identified in the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.

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