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Long queue at pre-registration for food relief

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A line of cars that stretched all the way from the Imperial Pacific Saipan to Garapan Fishing Base wait in line to pre-register for the Office of Grants and Management’s Saipan COVID-19 Food Relief Distribution. (NEIL FAMA)

A long line of cars stretched all the way from the Garapan Fishing Base to the front entrance of the Imperial Pacific Saipan casino yesterday for the pre-registration for the COVID-19 Food Relief Distribution that’s being done by the Office of Grants and Management.

Although OGM announced the issuance of tickets will begin at 10am, people were already lining up as early as 7am.

OGM administrator Epi Cabrera said this was strictly for registering and the issuing of tickets to people in vehicles. Registration for walk-in applicants will be held today at the Governor’s Office.

The official food distribution will occur on March 6 in two different sites: Garapan Fishing Base and the Koblerville Youth Center.

One of the requirements in order to be given a ticket was a physical copy of a billing statement or meter number, which will determine household and residency. One ticket was issued per one billing statement or meter number.

Each ticket will provide a case of chicken, a case of ramen noodles, a sack of rice, and canned goods.

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs recently gave the CNMI $281,400 so it could buy the food items that will be handed out for this purpose.

According to Cabrera, they have already completed giving out relief goods on Tinian and Rota. He expects to provide relief to 24,000 people in all.

Staff members of both the Office of Grants Management and the Department of Public Safety worked to direct the long line of vehicles where to go and keep them in order throughout the pre-registration process.

OGM State Clearinghouse specialist Frankie Angel stood between two domino-sequenced lines of cars and shared his experience with the distribution. “It’s been pretty chaotic, but we’ve been doing our best to voice out to the community to remain patient, listen to the radio and follow our Facebook page: @Office of Grants and Managements and State Clearinghouse for official announcements.” (Neil Fama)

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