Kilili: Governor to increase eligibility, food benefits

Oct 16, 2016

Marianas Variety — Gov. Ralph Torres has decided how to use $30.5 million in food assistance for the Northern Marianas that U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan included in the 2014 Agricultural Act.

“In a letter last week to Ms. Audrey Rowe administrator of the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service,” Kilili said, “Governor Torres said his administration would use the new funding to increase the number of people eligible for food assistance and bring their benefits closer to those provided by the national Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, SNAP.”

Kilili added, “The commonwealth is already in the process of upgrading its computerized administrative system, which will enable a conversion from paper food stamps to electronic debit cards, just like SNAP uses. As Governor Torres says in his letter — and I agree — full inclusion in SNAP remains our goal. Using the $30.5 million as the governor has decided to do will bring us closer to that goal in the long run and immediately help more people get more help putting food on the table.”