CNMI Governor Ralph Torres and Congressman Gregorio Sablan rolling out enhancements to the Nutrition Assistance Program — the first since 1997.
CNMI – After three years of planning and negotiating, Congressman Sablan and CNMI Governor Torres announcing enhancements to the Nutrition Assistance Program for the next three years.
“Not only have we increased 39 percent the amount per household, but we have increased the amount of household, the number of household,” CNMI Governor Torres told PNC.
A 39% increase accompanied with an increase in households covered from 2,600 to 3,300 this year. Recipients receive increased benefits immediately. The of result the approved Enhancement Plan the CNMI submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service. Congressman Sablan notes how this effects residents.
“People in our community who struggle to make ends meet on minimum wage will go to their jobs stomachs full ready to put in a full days work,” Congressman Sablan said.
The basis off issuance varies through the islands as cost of living differs. Increased benefits for a household of four on Saipan from $515 is now $748, on Tinian $568 to $804, and both Rota and Northern Island increase from $719 to $957. What is described as a “debit card system” will also eliminate paper coupons and lessen wait times. An automatic deposit will be made.
“You can go to any store that is registered and use the ‘credit card’ to buy your groceries. So, you no longer have to walk around with your family with paper coupons,” Torres added.
Both the Governor and Congressman emphasizing that while there are plans to further absorb the Marianas into the the national program, the assistance is meant to alleviate financial burdens so that recipients can be healthy to contribute to the community Governor Torres reminding the public the enhancements are limited.
“In three years it will be reduced, please come out and lets get you into our workforce. That’s our goal,” Torres explained.
You can read the full press release by clicking on the attachment below.