6,033 P-EBT total applications filed; 5,785 applications verified as of date
Nutrition Assistance Program administrator Walter Macaranas said Tuesday they are planning to distribute the Pandemic-Electronic Benefits Transfer program coupons in lump sum this August instead of the original plan to do three distributions.
The Public School System’s Child Nutrition Program earlier suggested staggering the issuances of the P-EBT coupons and not in lump sum so as not to overwhelm stores with parents using the coupons all at the same time.
Each child in a public school is estimated to receive $900 in coupons.
In response to Saipan Tribune’s request for clarification and updated information about the P-EBT program, Macaranas said yesterday that the amount of benefits for children in private schools will depend on the school’s predominant schedule, which could vary for each private school.
Macaranas cited an example one private school that was only closed for two weeks for the entire school year due to COVID-19. “As such, the children in that school will only receive P-EBT benefits for those two weeks of missed school days,” he said.
The NAP administrator disclosed that they received a total of 6,033 applications and, out of those number, have already verified 5,785.
In his appearance Tuesday afternoon before the House Ways and Means Committee on the budget request of the Department of Community & Culture Affairs, which handles NAP, Macaranas said the original deadline to file P-EBT applications was last June 11, but there many that missed the deadline. He said those who missed the June 11 deadline appealed to the Board of Education so the deadline was extended to last Friday, June 25.
The administrator said at the hearing that over 5,000 applications are now being vetted or scrutinized.
Essentially, he said, it’s not a tedious process but it does require the PSS’ Child Nutrition Program to actually validate the person submitting the application with the school record.
“We are looking at getting our roster complete—all the applications verified—perhaps by early part of July,” Macaranas said.
At this point, he said, they are looking at over 5,000 applications, which may consist of 10,000 children.
Children who live in the same household are included in the same application. If a household has four children, the household should submit only one application, not four applications.
Macaranas said over 11,000 children were estimated to benefit from the program based on terms of the rosters that were provided in the beginning.
P-EBT is a federal program that will provide the Marianas an estimated $11.1 million. DCCA’s NAP and PSS’ CNP are partnering to administer the program.