HONOLULU — Newly released federal data confirms the cost of food in Hawaii is significantly higher than it is on the mainland.

A government defined “thrifty food plan” for a family of four in Hawaii costs $1,161 a month, about $500 more than the same amount of food costs a family of four on the mainland, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture figures.

The USDA says the food plan is based on dietary guidelines and represents a “nutritious, minimal-cost” diet.

The new figures also show the cost for the food plan in Hawaii has increased by about $34 a week over the last five years. A thrifty food plan for two adults and two children cost $268 a week in Hawaii during the first half of 2016.

The food plan costs about $288 weekly for single women in Hawaii and about $330 for single men. On the mainland the same food cost for women is $163 and it is $185 for men.

The data gathered by the USDA is used to help calculate how much low-income families should receive in food stamp benefits.

About 143,000 Hawaii residents received food stamps in July from the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a decline of about 6 percent from the same month last year.


Information from: KGMB-TV, http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/