Legislature funds HINET, helps hungry UH Community College students


University of Hawaiʻi
Kelli Abe Trifonovitch, (808) 228-8108
Chief Communications Officer, UH Communications
Posted: Apr 17, 2019

Windward CC student and HINET recipient Bernadette Rose Garrett speaks at news conference.
Windward CC student and HINET recipient Bernadette Rose Garrett speaks at news conference.

Link to video and sound (details below): http://go.hawaii.edu/GKQ

WHAT:  The Hawai‘i State Legislature has approved $455,000 for each of the next two fiscal years for a life-changing workforce education and training program called HINET, which stands for Hawai‘i Nutrition Employment and Training.

HINET provides students assistance that can total more than $4,700 a year for food, transportation, books and other expenses.

WHO:  290 University of Hawai‘i Community College students are currently enrolled in HINET at four campuses. The goal with the added funding is to expand to 1,000 students at all seven UH Community College campuses in a year, helping more students to succeed.

  • Students enrolled in HINET persisted, or returned for another year, at the rate of 72 percent, compared with 51 percent overall for the UH Community Colleges.

  • HINET is helping Native Hawaiians. Of the students enrolled in HINET, 58 percent are Native Hawaiian, much higher than the Native Hawaiian population in UH Community Colleges (35 percent).

HOW:  To qualify for HINET, students must enroll at a UH community college and enroll in a workforce certificate training program or take at least six credits in an approved degree program. They must also qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called food stamps, and HINET can help with the paperwork.

  • Students in the HINET program may substitute their education and employment training for the USDA 20-hour weekly work requirement. This allows them to maintain their benefits while pursuing a college education.

  • Current and prospective community college students are encouraged to visit the HINET website hinethawaii.org or go to a HINET office on campus.  

WHY:  To reduce the cost of education for Hawai‘i’s most vulnerable populations and help them to get good paying jobs.

Other facts:

  • HINET began operations in 2015 and was developed by the State of Hawai‘i Department of Human Services in partnership with Windward Community College.

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture reimburses 50 percent of non-federal funds spent in support of HINET.  

  • As more state and philanthropic dollars are invested in HINET, more USDA dollars will flow to HINET, helping to reach more students.

  • Donations to support HINET will be matched by 50 percent and can be made by going online at https://www.uhfoundation.org/HINET to donate via credit card or call (808) 956-8849 if you wish to make a credit card gift over the phone.

VIDEO: http://go.hawaii.edu/GKQ


(00:00-00:20) cover Senate Chambers, news conference

(00:20-00:55) cover HI-NET signs, website

(00:56-01:07) cover student Bernadette Rose Garrett at Windward CC

(01:08-01:30) cover students on campuses; in classrooms


David Lassner, University of Hawai‘i president (21 seconds)

“We’ve done a great job here at UH in working with DHS and creating a truly win-win program that helps the students that need us the most, with food, with support, with all of the ancillary things that they need to go to college to get the skills they need to get a great job so they can support themselves and their families for years to come.”

Bernadette Rose Garrett, Windward CC student (9 seconds)

“I’m ecstatic.  Personally HINET has helped me a lot. And has helped countless of my other friends who went through HINET.”

Bernadette Rose Garrett (16 seconds)

“Having HINET to help me with that food cost, it helped me to be able to continue college. It helped me to buy those textbooks that I needed.”