Further applications closed for now
Just a little over 24 hours after opening its application period last June 1, the Community Development Block Grant food pantry of Karidat Social Services was forced to stop accepting new applications—at least for now—after being flooded with over 2,000 applications.
Over 2,000 applications have been submitted in-person and through email since Karidat opened the application period at midnight on June 1, and the deluge of applications now requires Karidat staff’s full attention to review and process.
To avoid any concerns or confusion, it was made clear in Saipan Tribune’s interview with Karidat staff that the CDBG food pantry is separate from Karidat’s already existing food pantry, which is still able to serve anyone seeking assistance. Karidat’s pre-existing food pantry continues to serve hundreds of families a month and is kept open through food donations from the community and local businesses.
“We [are] really happy to see all this positive response from the community. …We anticipated a crowd. We anticipated a lot of applications to come in. We did not anticipate that we would get 2,000-plus applications,” said a Karidat staff member who asked not to be named.
The staff member shared that resources are limited and that Karidat staff are all involved with the organization’s many other offerings. To ensure that all applications are processed in a timely manner and that the eligible receive their food packages, the decision to temporarily close applications was made.
“The [CDBG food pantry] didn’t replace any other current program we have. We can still give food through the [reception] window if they have that need. …The [CDBG food pantry] is in addition to what we have. We still have [the Karidat food pantry] going on, and we’re still providing services,” said the staff member.
According to Karidat’s May 28 press release, the organization was granted $405,268.50 by the Northern Marianas Housing Corp. through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. A total of $327,514.80 was allocated to fund the CDBG food pantry, with the remaining $77,753.70 reserved for planning and administrative costs.
More information and updates on the CDBG and Karidat food pantries can be found on Karidat’s website at karidat.com.