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Schatz: FEMA, SBA, USDA Announce New Measures To Aid Maui Fire Victims

FEMA Opens First Recovery Center On Maui To Help Victims Apply For Federal Disaster Assistance, Access Resources; SBA Opens Business Recovery Center In Kīhei To Assist Affected Businesses Applying For Loans; USDA Waiver Approved, Allowing SNAP Participants Across Hawai‘i To Buy Hot Prepared Food

HONOLULU ¬ U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) released the following statement after several federal agencies announced new measures to deliver assistance and resources to people on Maui and across Hawai‘i impacted by the fires.

“So many people, from families to businesses, have been impacted and displaced by these fires and they will need all the help they can get from the federal government to get back on their feet. I thank FEMA, the SBA, and the USDA for taking these measures to make relief and resources widely available to everyone who needs it,” said Senator Schatz.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) opened the first Disaster Recovery Center at the University of Hawai‘i Maui College, allowing affected residents to speak to FEMA specialists and receive assistance in applying for disaster relief. The Small Business Administration (SBA) also opened a Business Recovery Center in Kīhei which will provide a range of services to impacted businesses, including helping them apply for loans to repair or replace damaged property.

The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service also approved a request from the Hawai‘i Department of Human Services for a temporary waiver that allows Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants across Hawai‘i to purchase hot, ready-to-eat meals by using their SNAP benefits. The waiver is effective immediately through September 14, 2023 and is only applicable to SNAP-authorized retailers like grocery and convenience stores.