One time $100 bonus payment for Sept ASNAP recipients — Must be used before Sept. 30

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), has approved a one-time payment of bonus benefits for this month for all recipients of the American Samoa Nutrition Assistance Program (ASNAP), administered locally by the Department of Human and Social Services (DHSS)

The $100 bonus payment will be included in their monthly benefit beginning today, Sept. 1st by alphabetical order for ease of distribution, according to a DHSS media release, which issued a reminder that ASNAP  — better known as the Food Stamp Program — benefits for September MUST be spent before Sept. 30th.

“Although this is a one-time payment, I am extremely happy that we are able to once again provide this bonus to help our vulnerable population put healthy food on their tables during these hard economic times,” DHSS director Taeaoafua Dr. Meki Solomona said.

He explained that this bonus will be paid from unused funds that were approved for ASNAP benefits for fiscal year 2016 and “I am grateful to the USDA for their understanding of the need of our people”.

DHSS says ASNAP currently serves over 4,100 low-income elderly, blind and disabled individuals in American Samoa.  Applicants who are eligible for ASNAP benefits are issued monthly food coupons in the amounts of $56, $71, $89, $111 and $139 depending on their monthly gross income.  Almost 50% of recipients are receiving the full benefit level each month.

There will be no distribution of benefits tomorrow, Sept. 2 — due to the ASG Workforce Day and next Monday, Sept. 5 because it’s a local and federal Labor Day holiday. On these two days, the office will be closed.

Taeaoafua extends his gratitude and appreciation to the USDA-FNS for approving request to use unspent funds for payment of a one-time bonus for ASNAP recipients and to Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga for his continued support of the ASNAP and the people of American Samoa.

The ASNAP provides supplemental nutrition assistance in the form of nutrition education and food coupons to purchase nutritious and healthy foods.

Any recipient, authorized representative of an ASNAP recipient or a concerned member of the community who needs additional information is asked to contact Carol Samoa or Lagia Fulu Tuala at the ASNAP at 633-7720 or visit their Eligibility Worker (caseworker) at the ASNAP office in Utulei across from the DDW Restaurant.

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