VIDEO: CNMI Food Stamp Pilot Program Cut by House

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Saipan – The CNMI’s inclusion in the nationwide Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is now in limbo after the U.S. House of Representatives struck down the popular food stamp program that included the five-year SNAP pilot program for the islands.

Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan said the SNAP pilot program for the Commonwealth was part of the SNAP package that Republicans rejected in a narrow 216-208 vote last week.

Sablan said the CNMI’s inclusion in the nationwide SNAP program would have given the CNMI an additional $33 million for food assistance. The islands received a food stamp block of about $12 million in 2013 up from some $10 million in 2009.

SNAP is a federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and managed by the Department of Social Services. It benefits some 48 million low income or no income Americans.