NAP urged to distribute P-EBT coupons now


Pointing out that many children are at home right now for the summer break and with many families lacking the financial means to replenish their food supplies, Sen. Edith E. DeLeon Guerrero (D-Saipan) is requesting Nutrition Assistance Program administrator Walter Macaranas to start distributing now the Pandemic-Electronic Benefits Transfer program coupons instead of doing it by next month.

DeLeon Guerrero urged Macaranas in a recent letter to use his discretionary decision to distribute the P-EBT coupons now in part or in lump sum sooner than NAP’s August target.

It being summer time, schools are closed and many children are at home, she said. This means family’s food expenses are often much higher and funds are depleted much faster, she said, which means most likely parents are not able to replenish their food supplies due to lack of financial means.

“We call can agree that thousands of families will feel more at ease and relieved that they need not struggle or worry where the next meal is going to come from while the children are home during the summer,” DeLeon Guerrero said.

She said pricing of food commodities are not inflated right now, thereby giving families more buying power and market shelves being empty is avoided.

The senator said local revenues through monthly Business Gross Revenue Tax will also be generated from increased consumer sales.

She said her office has been receiving complaints from families affected by the extended time for the benefits to be paid out

P-EBT is a federal program that will provide the Marianas an estimated $11.1 million.

Macaranas earlier stated that over 11,000 children are estimated to benefit from the program based on the terms of the rosters that were provided in the beginning.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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