The Nutrition Assistance Program of the Department of Community & Culture Affairs will begin distributing Pandemic-Electronic Benefits Transfer benefits, or P-EBT, this Tuesday, Aug. 10, to approximately 5,314 families on Saipan.
NAP administrator Walter Macaranas said yesterday that the distribution of P-EBT benefits on Saipan will be done at the NAP office in As Lito and until Aug. 17.
On Tinian and Rota, DCCA offices on those islands will facilitate the distribution schedule, he said. Macaranas said there are approximately 282 households on Tinian and 236 on Rota that will be receiving P-EBT benefits.
P-EBT is a federal program that will provide the Marianas an estimated $11.1 million. NAP and the Public School System’s Child Nutrition Program are partnering to administer the program.
Macaranas said the P-EBT distribution on Saipan will be issued based on the last name of the head of household who is listed as the parent or legal guardian in their children’s school record.
Macaranas encourages the individual who signed the P-EBT application to picks up the benefit at the NAP office in As Lito to avoid any delays.
The NAP office was provided one parent name or legal guardian name, which likely was the parent or legal guardian who signed the application.
Macaranas said the Public School System Child Nutrition Program validated the parent or legal guardian specified in the P-EBT applications that were provided to the NAP office.
Benefits will be issued according to the first letter of the head of household’s last name based on the following schedule:
A to B—Aug. 10
C to D—Aug. 11
E to K—Aug. 12
L to N— Aug. 13
O to R—Aug. 14
S to T—Aug. 15
U to Z—Aug. 16
Open Day—Aug. 17
Macaranas said Open Day is the designated date for households that weren’t able to pick up their benefits based on their scheduled date.
The NAP office will issue the benefits from 8am to 6pm daily during the scheduled distribution dates.
“Identification will be required,” Macaranas said.
Households will be required to provide a valid photo identification such as a driver’s license, passport, municipal identification card, U.S. permanent resident card, etc.
Macaranas said the identity of the parent or legal guardian will be verified against the list of eligible households.
P-EBT benefits will be issued via a drive-thru process at the NAP office in As Lito. “To ensure a smooth process, households will be required to follow the traffic flow for the drive-thru procedure,” he said.
Each child in a public school is estimated to receive $900 in P-EBT coupons. Those coupons can be exchanged for food and other grocery items at select stores on island, similar to regular food stamps.
Macaranas earlier said 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.
Last June 30, Macaranas disclosed that they received 6,033 applications and, out of those number, verified 5,785.
Macaranas said over 11,000 children are estimated to benefit from the program.