Thousands line up for final day of COVID-19 emergency food distribution

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Early this morning, thousands of families in need lined up at the Guam Department of Education’s emergency food distribution sites for a chance to feed their families.

Thousands of island residents lined up in Barrigada and Yona for the chance to get a bag of canned goods and a box of fresh produce.

Today was the last day for food commodities to be given away under the Guam Department of Education’s Disaster Household Distribution program which helps families who have been impacted by COVID-19.

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Just after 8 a.m. this morning, GDOE spokesperson Isa Baza said in a statement that the distribution site at the Tiyan Upper Baseball field had reached its limit. Residents were recommended to go to the St. Francis Church, but that site reached its capacity shortly after.

Having met the 12,000 commodity distribution approved by the federal government, GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez says the agency’s food emergency assistance program will now transition back to regular operations.

“Beyond the 12,000 bags going forward, TEFAP will continue an ongoing program. But under the normal operations, we normally operate out of the Piti warehouse and it’s typically for those under the income eligibility standards which typically mean that you’re under SNAP, WIC, or TANF support programs,” Fernandez said.

The program will be suspended next week to allow for supply replenishment and will resume during the final week of June at the GDOE warehouse in Piti.

Having seen the pressing need for food security on island, Fernandez says the agency will work to see whether they can further provide assistance to the community.

“We are going to reach out to our regional federal office to determine whether there is additional opportunity to support the community. At this point, we’ve been very concerned and very surprised by the deep level of food support that’s needed. In the past couple weeks, nothing has happened to change our minds about that,” Fernandez said.

Baza said in an interview with K57’s Logan Reyes that GDOE’s Grab and Go school meals program is still open to all children until 17 years old at the agency’s 12 school sites every weekday until July 31st.

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