Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said Saturday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services approved his request to operate the Emergency Food Assistance for Victims of Disaster, pursuant to Part XI and Exhibit D of the Nutrition Assistance Program manual of operation, due to impacts from Super Typhoon Yutu.
This emergency food assistance program is referred to as the Disaster NAP, or D-NAP. The program is regardless of citizenship and every impacted household may apply. The estimated total cost for disaster benefits is $8,562,834.
“Since the beginning of the storm, we prioritized the safety and wellbeing of our families on both islands so that they receive the help they need. We got approved for $8.6 million for disaster benefits for Saipan and Tinian households and disaster supplements for ongoing NAP households,” Torres said.
“I want to thank [Department of Community and Cultural Affairs] Secretary Robert Hunter, NAP administrator Walter Macaranas, and the hardworking staff at the DCCA and NAP offices for pushing this through and for always leading the way in getting food assistance for our families, especially during this recovery.”
Every household on Saipan, Tinian, and the Northern Islands may apply for disaster food assistance, regardless of citizenship. Households must apply and be determined for eligibility in order to avail of disaster food assistance. Benefits will be determined by household composition and an additional income eligibility determination will be made for households that experienced food loss or a reduction/termination of income as a result of the disaster.
“We are tremendously happy…,” said Hunter. “This assistance will provide a food benefit to every eligible impacted household on Saipan and Tinian as well as additional assistance to NAP households. We encourage households to bring some form of photo ID, income documentation like pay stubs or bank statements, and receipts for disaster-related expenses, medical, and, of course, food loss such as spoiled food that was lost because of a lack of power. If you don’t have the documentation, NAP staff will have an affidavit at the sites in the case any documentation is unavailable.”
D-NAP application periods
The D-NAP application periods and their hours of operation will be as follows:
Nov. 15 – Nov. 21, 2018
Tinian Public Gym in San Jose
8am – 2pm
Nov. 25 – Dec. 1, 2018
CNMI NAP office in As Lito, Saipan
8am – 6pm
According to Macaranas the Emergency Food Assistance distribution will be divided into two programs: D-NAP assistance and Supplemental Disaster Assistance.
“D-NAP is primarily for non-NAP households which includes individuals who were residing on Saipan and Tinian at the time Super Typhoon Yutu struck the islands on Oct. 24, 2018. This means that any resident regardless of citizenship may apply for disaster assistance,” Macaranas said.
Documentations will be required as part of the verification process. NAP will be requesting for documentation such photo identification of the applicant, birth certificates or passports to verify household composition; billings such as telephone, utility, cable, etc. to verify residency; pay stubs to verify income; recent bank statements to verify resources; and expense receipts to verify disaster-related expenses. If the D-NAP applicant does not have the documentation to provide proof of the required verifications, the applicant must use the NAP-provided affidavit to declare such information.
Coupons used for the D-NAP and supplements will be effective through Jan. 31, 2019.
FNS approves the governor’s request to lift the local coupons restriction and allow the local coupons to be used to purchase imported eligible foods through Dec. 31, 2018. This flexibility only applies to eligible applicants from Saipan, Tinian, and the Northern Islands. DCCA will issue a written authorization to each authorized retailer on Saipan and Tinian allowing these items for purchase with disaster or supplemental benefits.
FNS approves the governor’s request to allow NAP and D-NAP households the ability to purchase hot foods and hot food items for immediate consumption with NAP benefits through Dec. 31, 2018. (PR)