That number, though, is just an estimate.
According to the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, the projected 12,000 beneficiaries of the one-time Disaster Nutritional Assistance Program could go up or down. In fact, the number of people applying for DNAP is nearing the projected maximum on just the second day.
“It’s an estimate,” said DCCA Secretary Robert Hunter yesterday, referring to the 12,000 projected participants. “The number is flexible.”
“These are paper numbers. If we run out of the numbers, we would go print some more… We will get everybody,” he added.
DNAP numbers on the first day of issuance last Sunday nearly tripled the planned 1,700 limit.
Hunter noted that over 4,800 numbers were issued on the first day of number assignments. As of 10:30am yesterday, the DNAP numbers were already in the high 7,000’s.
He further noted that at least 2,000 applicants were processed last Sunday evening.
“We are ahead of the game,” Hunter told Saipan Tribune.
Volunteers were stationed in front of the NAP office in As Lito for the first issuance of DNAP numbers as very long lines were expected. Some have already reported having obtained their food stamps, which varies per household.
According to a previous press release, DNAP is budgeted at over $8.5 million.
According to Hunter, the DCCA calculates NAP benefits in a “high-end” manner, meaning they expect families to get a large benefit from NAP. He further clarified that DNAP is no different from NAP projections in terms of process.
“…We always project high-end, not only in terms of number of households but in terms of the [benefits] that we put in this to make sure we cover everything,” he said.
“We always project high to make sure we do not run into trouble,” he added, assuring that there is plenty to go around.