»Most will be distributed to PSS students, families
NMI Salvation Army ministry leader Wayne Gillespie told Saipan Tribune yesterday that FEMA donated over 20,000 MREs to Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, a coalition of local non-government agencies and churches that are involved in disaster and social works.
Among these groups are the American Red Cross NMI Chapter, Karidat, and the Salvation Army.
Gillespie said the coalition has decided to distribute most of the ready-to-eat meals to public schools as they have lists of families who rely on the two free meals that their children get during the school year.
Acting associate commissioner for instruction and curriculum services Kimo Rosario said yesterday that PSS has received 4,000 MREs from the coalition, which will be distributed proportionately to all public schools, including the Head Start program. Meal distribution will be based on each school’s population, according to him.
Bigger schools like Marianas High School and Hopwood Junior High School, he said, will get the bulk of the donated meals, which are now being offloaded at the PSS Pupil Transportation Office in Lower Base.
Rosario said school administrators will select recipients from their school and these students will start receiving the pre-packed foods next week.
He said PSS and the Education Board are extremely grateful to FEMA and the coalition for the food donation. He believes this is the first time for the system to receive this kind of donation.
Besides truckloads of ready-to-eat meals, FEMA has been providing other emergency needs of victims of calamities and disasters across the nation such as emergency generators, clothes, emergency medical supplies, and others.