Using grant funds from the Office on Insular Affairs, the Office of Grants Management has already distributed 1,600 bags of food on Tinian and Rota and will soon do the same on Saipan as part of efforts to ease people’s hardships arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The food distribution program, called “Mass Care through Humanitarian Food Aid Relief,” will ultimately benefit approximately 4,000 households in the CNMI, according to the OGM in a Facebook post.
Saipan Tribune learned that 800 bags were distributed on Rota last Jan. 21 and 22 and 800 more were distributed on Tinian last Feb. 9. Residents on Saipan will be able to receive bags of food in the next two to three weeks.
Each food bags include a bag of rice, a case of frozen chicken, and an assortment of canned goods.
In order to know how many food bags the OGM had to distribute on Tinian and Rota, residents of the two islands had to pre-register with an OGM representative. The system of how the same distribution will be done on Saipan is still being worked out.
The Rota Mayor’s Office Public Information Office Facebook page stated that their pre-registration for the food drive was held at the mayor’s office conference hall last Jan. 20.
According to the Tinian Mayor’s Office Facebook page, the food distribution on Tinian was held at the Tinian Youth Center, with many community volunteers assisting with the handing out of food items. The volunteers included staff from the Department of the Interior’s OIA, the Office of the Governor, OGM administrator Epi Cabrera, Tinian OGM representative, OGM staff, Rosita King-Aldan, Tinian and Aguiguan’s Mayor Edwin Aldan’s wife, and her Tinian International Women’s Association, Tinian Youth Center staff, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (Seabees), and others.
It was learned that Rota’s food distribution was held at the West Harbor Marina, from 3pm to 6pm with the help of Rota’s Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Rota’s Department of Lands and Natural Resources, Rota’s Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, and Rota’s Department of Public Safety.
The Office of the Governor, through the OGM and CNMI Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, was approved a grant award of $281,046 last Nov. 12, 2020, for this purpose.
According to the OGM’s post on Facebook, the original target date of distribution was between the first or second week of December as they had wanted to guarantee bulk orders and to plan sufficient logistics for the shipment of the goods to Tinian and Rota.