The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is seeing an increase in applicants even as the island’s economy slowly begins to recover.
Christine San Nicolas, the acting administrator of Guam Public Health’s Bureau of Economic Security, told Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo Friday morning that she ran a report on SNAP applications from the months of October through March.
She said that during the period of time covered by the report Public Health received an average of 100 applications per day. On some days, they even received up to 200 applications.
San Nicolas said that prior to the pandemic, Public Health would average about 70 applications per day.
Maria Cindy Malanum, social services supervisor at Public Health, said that even though the island’s economy is starting to reopen, some people remain furloughed.
Also, as people return to work, some are making less money now than they were while receiving federal unemployment benefits.
On the other side of the coin, some people are unable to qualify for SNAP because some unemployment benefits such as PUA are still counted as income.
San Nicolas said that changes may be in store since new SNAP regulations related to the American Rescue Plan are in the pipeline.