Limits on food stamps deny aid to hundreds in CNMI

3:22 pm on 26 August 2015

There is confusion in the Northern Marianas over who is entitled to food stamp aid in the wake of Typhoon Soudelor.

An aerial view of Saipan after Typhoon Soudelor.

An aerial view of Saipan after Typhoon Soudelor. Photo: Facebook

The storm hit the CNMI's main island of Saipan more than three weeks ago but hundreds of people are still in need of help.

The federally assisted Nutritional Assistance Program (NAP) has been handing out food stamps with the territorial government limiting those eligible to the level that applies normally.

But our correspondent Mark Rabago reports the Northern Marianas' US Congressman, Gregorio Kilili Sablan, believes the threshold should be much higher, given the state of disaster.

The NAP has said that in fact few have been turned away.

"But [Congressman Gregorio Kilili Sablan] is saying that there are actually hundreds who are turned off by the higher qualification threshold, so they are not even lining up to get food stamps but if they know they are qualified a lot of people will line up."

Mark Rabago.

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