The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given Hawaii a $660,422 award for the exemplary performance of its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Gov. David Ige accepted the award Wednesday from Jesus Mendoza, administrator of the DOA’s Western Regional Office of the Food and Nutrition Service.

The governor’s office says the award acknowledges the exemplary work of the Department of Human Services’ Benefits, Employment and Support Services Division over the last four years to improve the efficiency and effectiveness in determination of SNAP eligibility for people in Hawaii.

Hawaii Department of Human Services Director Rachael Wong, left, Deputy Director Pankaj Bhanot, right, join Gov. David Ige, center right, and U.S. Department of Agriculture administrator Jesus Mendoza in accepting an award, Wednesday, at the governor's mansion.

Hawaii Department of Human Services Director Rachael Wong, left, Deputy Director Pankaj Bhanot, right, join Gov. David Ige, center right, and U.S. Department of Agriculture administrator Jesus Mendoza in accepting an award, Wednesday, at the governor’s mansion.

Governor's Office

The division achieved a 94.4 percent timeliness rate in fiscal 2014, placing Hawaii in the top six states for highest timeliness rates, a release says. The rate went up to 97.6 percent as of June 2015, among the highest in the country.

The division scanned more than 2 million documents into an electronic case system over the past four years, which the governor’s office says helps it be more efficient and effective.

“This bonus award demonstrates that the State of Hawaii SNAP eligibility team is a leader in service and performance nationwide. The award is also a promise to reinvest in Hawaii’s future as the funds will further transform and improve the way the State of Hawaii serves its people,” Ige said in the release.

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