The Hawaii Restaurant Card (HRC) will begin arriving in mailboxes of qualified residents this week, beginning Friday.
The HRC Program, funded via $75 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, provides residents who filed an initial claim for Unemployment Insurance benefits beginning March 1 or thereafter and continue to meet additional CARES Act fund eligibility requirements with a preloaded, prepaid debit Mastercard with $500 for use at restaurants, eating establishments, bakeries and food caterers throughout Hawaii.
Qualified individuals will automatically receive the card and have through Dec. 15 to expend the funds. There is no sign up required. The use of the Hawaii Restaurant Card will not impact SNAP and Medicaid benefits or eligibility.
The HRC Program is a public-private partnership between the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Hawaii Restaurant Association and the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation. The state says the program will result in far reaching economic benefits beyond restaurants, including the restaurant industry supply chain, farmers, ranchers, fisherman, produce suppliers, supply companies and more.
The card can be used statewide at restaurants, eateries, bakeries and food caterers that accept Debit Mastercard. The card can only be used for food and nonalcoholic beverage purchases and it will not be accepted at grocery or convenience stores or for grab-and-go prepared meals.
For more information, visit www.hawaiirestaurantcard.com.