The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Nutrition Assistance Program said the number of households receiving food stamps in the CNMI increased by nearly ten percent in the past two years.
According to the CNMI NAP, there are around 3,206 families currently relying on food stamps in March 2019. Two years ago, the program registered around 2,412 recipients.
Most of the current food stamp participants – approximately 2,929 households – are from Saipan.
As a result of the increase in beneficiaries, people are waiting longer to receive their benefits and to re-certify their cases, according to CNMI NAP. The program had to extend its distribution schedule from five to ten days to accommodate participants.
Additionally, CNMI NAP announced the discontinuance of the alphabet scheduling for benefit distribution. The alphabet system uses the first letter of the name of the head of the household. Instead, according to the program, they will start utilizing a numeric schedule, which is the last number of the case record ID for the household.