UPDATED: USDA Approves Disaster Food Assistance

Nov 10, 2018

Governor Ralph DLG. Torres announced on Saturday that the US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) approved his request to operate the Emergency Food Assistance for Victims of Disaster pursuant to Part XI and Exhibit D of the Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) manual of operation due to impacts from Super Typhoon Yutu. 

"Every household on Saipan, Tinian, and the Northern Islands is eligible for disaster food assistance, regardless of citizenship. Households must apply to avail of disaster food assistance. Benefits will be determined by household composition, and an additional determination will be made for households that experienced food loss or a reduction/termination of income as a result of the disaster,” Governor Torres said. 

According to NAP Administrator Walter Macaranas the Emergency Food Assistance distribution
will be divided into two programs: D-NAP assistance and Supplemental Disaster Assistance.

“D-NAP is primarily for Non-NAP households which includes individuals who were residing on
Saipan and Tinian at the time Super Typhoon Yutu struck the islands on October 24, 2018. This
means that any resident regardless of citizenship may apply for disaster assistance,” Macaranas
said.

D-NAP APPLICATION PERIOD AND HOURS OF OPERATION

TINIAN
November 15 - November 21. 2018
Tinian Public Gymnasium
8:00 am to 2:00 pm

SAIPAN
November 25 - December 1, 2018
CNMI NAP Office, As Lito
8:00 am to 6:00 pm

WHAT TO BRING WHEN APPLYING FOR DISASTER FOOD ASSISTANCE:

  • Valid Photo ID
  • Birth certificates or passports for household members
  • Social Security cards/numbers for household members
  • Pay stubs or income verification for household members
  • Bank statements for savings and checking accounts
  • Disaster related expenses (receipts and/or listing with estimate of costs)
  • Food loss (receipts and/or listing with estimate of costs)
  • Costs of repairing or replacing any damages to home (receipts and/or listing with estimate of costs)
  • Generator and other related equipment needed for disaster/post-disaster (receipts and/or listing with estimate of costs)
  • Medical expenses (receipts and/or listing with estimate of costs)

Benefit (or Disaster) Period
CNMI DCCA will determine eligibility based on a household’s income, resources, disaster-related expenses, and other circumstances between October 23 and November 22, 2018.

CNMI DCCA will certify eligible households for 1 month, and issue one month of benefits based on household size according to Table 3 included in your request letter (refer to attachment).

Eligibility

  • Only households that resided and/or worked in the Northern Islands, Saipan, and Tinian on October 23, 2018, are eligible for D-NAP.
  • Household composition as it existed on October 23, 2018, will be used in determining D-NAP eligibility.
  • Households that experienced food loss alone as their only disaster-related expense may be eligible for D-NAP.
  • Households that experienced a reduction or termination of income as a direct result of the disaster may be eligible for D-NAP.
  • CNMI DCCA will adhere to the verification requirements included in the request letter for the D-NAP, which includes mandatory verification of identity; verification of residency and loss of income or inaccessibility of resources, where possible; and verification of household composition and food loss, if questionable. In the event that households do not have the documentation to provide proof of identity, residency, income/resources, etc., affidavits will be used to declare such information. Certain verification requirements may be waived.

Ongoing Households
Disaster supplements provide for equity in disaster assistance between new D-NAP households and ongoing NAP households, as supplements bring the benefits of ongoing NAP households up to the maximum allotment for their household size.
Ongoing households that lived and/or worked in the Northern Islands, Saipan, and Tinian may request disaster supplements on an individual basis by completing a Disaster Application Form for the record-keeping purposes required under Exhibit D, IV(B)(1) of the NAP Manual of Operations.
Ongoing NAP households already receiving the maximum monthly allotment are not eligible for disaster supplements.

Coupons used for the D-NAP and supplements will be effective through January 31, 2019.

Local Coupons
FNS approves the Governor’s request to lift the local coupons restriction and allow the local coupons to be used to purchase imported eligible foods through December 31, 2018. This flexibility only applies to eligible applicants from Saipan, Tinian, and the Northern Islands. DCCA will issue a written authorization to each authorized retailer on Saipan and Tinian allowing these items for purchase with disaster or supplemental benefits.

Hot Foods
FNS approves the Governor’s request to allow NAP and D-NAP households the ability to purchase hot foods and hot food items for immediate consumption with NAP benefits through December 31, 2018.