When Dawn Marquez goes grocery shopping at Shima’s Supermarket in Waimanalo, her children aren’t just in tow — they’re leading the charge toward their favorites. Her 7-year-old son Laakea makes a beeline for the cucumbers and her 6-year-old daughter Lilinoe heads for the apple bananas.
Dawn attributes their choices to a program called DA BUX, which doubles the value of government food assistance when that assistance is used to buy qualifying local food items, like the cucumbers and apple bananas her children now seek out.
The “Double Up Food Buck” program launched nationally in 2014. It arrived in Hawaii