The CNMI’s plan to operate the Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefits, or Summer P-EBT, for 55 days of summer has been approved and will be issued in November.
Under the plan, which was approved last Oct. 8, 2021, the criteria for eligibility for summer benefits requires that the student or child was actively enrolled in a covered school during the last month of the school year, which is school year 2020-21. This means high school students who remained enrolled during the last month of the school year and graduated would still be eligible for summer benefits.
Summer P-EBT is an extension of P-EBT for school year 2020-21. P-EBT is a program that provides Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to school-aged children who lost access to school meals because their school was closed or operating with reduced in-person attendance due to COVID-19 covering for school year 2020-21. The American Rescue Plan, which amended the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, authorizes the USDA secretary to permit a state to extend its P-EBT plan during the summer.
A covered school is a school that receives School Breakfast Meals and National School Lunch Meals, either free or reduced-price, from the PSS Child Nutrition Program.
For most CNMI schools, the last month of the school year was May or June 2021. However, those who graduated earlier and those who dropped out of school will not be eligible for summer benefits.
Summer benefits is also extended to Nutrition Assistance Program children under the age of 6; however, the child must be an active recipient during any of the summer months such as June, July or August 2021.
This means that if the child who is under the age of 6 was a recipient in June 2021 but not July and August 2021, the child would be eligible for summer benefits. In another example, if the child was a recipient in July but not in June or August, that child would still be eligible for summer benefits. In the same manner, if the child was a recipient only during August, the child would be eligible for summer benefits.
Applications for summer P-EBT will not be required for households who already received regular P-EBT benefits. There won’t be a need for applications from households who received the regular P-EBT. Summer benefits will automatically be processed for eligible children. However, households who missed to submit an application for the regular P-EBT program will be required to submit an application for the Summer P-EBT program.
Further, there were instances that a household inadvertently did not include a child or children during the regular P-EBT application period and therefore did not receive regular P-EBT benefits for their children. For these instances, the household will be required to submit an application for the missing children in order to receive summer benefits.
Applications can only be picked up at the NAP office located at the JTV Commercial Building on As Lito, Saipan, at the Public Gymnasium on San Jose, Tinian, or at the NAP Office on Songsong, Rota.
Applications will be available for pick up during business hours from 7:30am to 4:30pm from Oct. 18 to Nov. 30, 2021. Applications must be submitted in person with a copy of their valid photo ID at these locations by November 30, 2021 no later than 4:30 p.m. There will be no extensions. The reimbursement amount for summer benefits will be the same for each eligible child, regardless of whether they were enrolled in public or private school. Each eligible child will receive $438 for the summer. The summer benefits will be provided in the form of NAP coupons and will be valid through March 31, 2022. NAP will begin distributing summer benefits on Saturday, Nov. 13, up to Nov. 20, 2021, from 8am to 6pm to families on Saipan via drive-thru at the As Lito office. Distribution schedule for Tinian and Rota will be announced at a later date.
The distribution on Saipan will be issued based on the “last name” of the head of household who was designated as the parent or legal guardian on their children’s school record.
Benefits will be issued according to the first letter of the head of household’s last name per the following schedule:
“Open day” is the designated date for households who weren’t able to pick up their benefits on their scheduled date. After these dates and through March 31, 2022, households are permitted to walk-in to the Benefit Issuance Section at the NAP As Lito office from 8am to 3pm. Face masks or face covering will be required upon entering the building.
Identification will be required to be presented upon receiving the benefit. Households will be required to provide a valid photo identification such as a driver’s license, passport, municipal ID, U.S. permanent resident card, etc. The ID must have a valid date (not expired). The identity of the parent or legal guardian will be verified against the list of eligible households.
For more information about the summer P-EBT program, call the P-EBT contact center at 287-3063, 3064 or 3065. (PR)