Food distribution canceled at the last minute and rescheduled for July 30

GDOE TEFAP food distribution (PNC file photo)

The Guam Department of Education announced at the last minute Thursday morning that its TEFAP (emergency food) distribution has been canceled for the day.

The distribution was scheduled for 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. However, the cancellation message from GDOE staff came in at 6:08 a.m.

Dededo Mayor Melissa Savares told K57’s Patti Arroyo that traffic was backed up at the Dededo Farmer’s Market location. She said some people had started lining up as of 4:30 a.m. to receive their food assistance.

GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said a shipping delay caused a shortage of supplies, meaning there was no food to hand out. However, he acknowledged that the message to the public canceling the distribution came very late because GDOE has been juggling multiple priorities as of late.

Isa Baza, Guam Department of Education spokesperson, confirmed to K57 that the reason GDOE is pushing back the distribution is due to a shortage of supplies.

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“We’re continuing to replenish our food commodity supplies and part of this is due to shipping delays with receiving the food commodities. We did actually know this and I knew this earlier this week. And, I want to take personal responsibility for getting the late notice out, I should have gotten it out earlier, there’s just so much going on this week, so I just want to again apologize to the general public,” Baza said.

The TEFAP distribution has been rescheduled for next Thursday, July 30, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Dededo Farmer’s Market and the Tiyan Upper Baseball Field. The next distribution will be on Thursday, August 6.

GDOE says recipients will receive one bag of TEFAP food commodities and one Farmers to Families food box of fresh fruits or vegetables, regardless of household size.

Food commodities include items such as fresh apples and oranges, pasta noodles, and canned goods such as spaghetti sauce, black beans, garbanzo beans, peaches, pears, salmon, and tuna.  A maximum of three households per vehicle will be permitted to pick up commodities.

Commodities will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last. Distribution may end early if all available commodities are distributed before 10 a.m. Participants may pick up only one food commodity bag per distribution day.