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Food-stamp program implements ‘drive-thru’ distribution process; serves 3,400 households on Saipan

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THE Department of Community and Cultural Affairs-Nutrition Assistance Program’s “drive-thru” benefits distribution has been very successful, thanks to the support of the community and other government entities, NAP Administrator Walter Macaranas said.

Nutrition Assistance Program staffers distribute April 2020 benefits through a drive-thru distribution process.

DCCA-NAP photo


DCCA-NAP implemented a drive-thru process as a result of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ public health emergency declaration.
“The governor’s declaration also urged the community to be resilient, and to stay safe and healthy,” Macaranas added.
The drive-thru procedure aims to avoid congregation and enforce social distancing protocols while NAP continues to serve 3,400 households on Saipan, he said.
More Saipan households are expected to apply for NAP or food-stamp benefits because of the anticipated major furloughs in the private and public sectors, Macaranas added. He estimates 6,000 additional households seeking NAP assistance by the end of September 2020.
NAP’s drive-thru benefit distribution, which started on April 1 and will end on April 15, received favorable comments from community members. “The distribution was fast and efficient. We waited less than 15 minutes on the line. The NAP staffers are prepared,” commented a NAP beneficiary.
Macaranas said NAP is likely to implement the same drive-thru procedures in May given the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the program continues to seek the community’s patience and understanding even as the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. continue their efforts in keeping the CNMI safe.
Macaranas extend his sincere gratitude to the governor’s office, DCCA Saipan, Rota and Tinian, CNMI Census, CNMI Homeland Security, the Department of Public Works, and the Department of Public Safety for their partnership.
He said applications are now available online: http://www.dcca.gov.mp
However, applications and supporting documents are required to be submitted at the NAP office in As Lito. Applicants who have submitted their applications, and would like to check the status of their applications can contact the NAP Certification Unit at 237-2801 or -2802.

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