University of Hawaii community college students who need financial help can apply for a training program called HINET, which stands for Hawaii Nutrition Employment and Training.

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

On Wednesday, there will be a bill (SB 50 SD1) heard in the legislature at 2:45 p.m. 

To qualify for HINET, students must enroll at a UH community college and take at least six credits in an approved 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 or go to a HINET office on campus.  

This helps reduce the cost of education for Hawaii’s most vulnerable populations and help them to get good paying jobs.

HINET began operations in 2015 and was developed by the State of Hawaii 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.

Administrators say if they could increase the current operating budget from $656,000 to $ 1.4 million, potentially 1,000 to 1,400 students could be served.

Donations to support HINET will be matched by 50% and can be made by going online at to donate via credit card or call 956-8849 if you wish to make a credit card gift over the phone.