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Empty Vessel Ministry plans drive-thru food distribution

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ONCE it has sufficient funds to purchase food items, the Empty Vessel Ministry Foundation will again schedule a food-pack distribution on Saipan, EVM president and board chair Rosalyn Ajoste said.


This time, she added, it will be a “drive-thru” distribution at one of the pavilions on Beach Road. Ajoste said EVM wants to ensure the safety of community members and comply with the CNMI government’s social-distancing directives.
“We already learned our lesson from the previous distribution,” she said, referring to EVM’s first emergency food distribution in March at its office on Middle Road.
Ajoste said they repeatedly asked community members to be at least six feet away from each other, “but we were overwhelmed by the number of people who showed up one hour before the distribution.”
She said the distribution ended after 30 minutes only. “We ran out of food. People got angry. Some even cursed us. We also received hate mail on Facebook. It was sad.”
For their next food distribution, EVM will have more volunteers to assist in crowd control, Ajoste said, adding that the foundation is also raising funds through GoFundMe while reaching out to community members and business entities.
EVM depends on the proceeds of the annual CNMI Next Top Chef sponsored by Hotel Association of Northern Marianas Islands. This year’s event, however, may be postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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