GDOE asks mayors for help in food distribution

Guam Department of Education is seeking help from village mayors to help with the distribution of food to island residents. (PNC file photo)

The Guam Department of Education has helped feed thousands of families over the past several months through their free food commodity program. And now, they’re turning to village mayors to discuss an alternate distribution model.

As the Guam Department of Education prepares to welcome students back to classes, they are seeking help from village mayors to help feed island residents.

During a Mayors Council meeting Wednesday, GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez says there is a continued need for free food commodities and that demand may persist until the end of the year.

The agency is exploring options to help ease the existing burdens on the current operations by helping residents on a village level.

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“Instead of at the Tiyan or at two or three distribution sites, we’re looking at a system with more than a few sites. It doesn’t mean every mayor’s office, but we can identify different areas of need and give people multiple options to get the support of the mayor’s office to see how we can ease that distribution,” Fernandez said.

He added that this proposed change would not mean that every mayor’s office would have to give out commodities. Participation would be determined on which areas of the island are the most in need.

According to data from GDOE, northern villages such as Dededo, Yigo, and Barrigada have presented a high demand because of their large populations.

“I know that’s a concern…being able to check how much food is needed and how many you have to turn away. We can project the amount of bags and commodities that you’ll get on a given distribution and if you’re going to be distributing, you’re going to have to figure out the best way to manage that distribution so we can try to mitigate some of those challenges,” Fernandez said.

Tomorrow’s emergency food distribution at the Dededo Farmer’s Market and the Tiyan Upper Baseball Field have been canceled to allow GDOE staff to prepare for the new school year. The new distribution schedule will be announced at a future date.