DHSS confirms benefits of $496 for each ASNAP participant
Director Muavaefa’atasi, John E. Suisala of the Department of Human and Social Services (DHSS), is pleased to announce that today the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Nutrition Service (USDA FNS) has approved their request to issue a one-time payment of end-of-year (EOY) benefits totaling $496 for all participants of the American Samoa Nutrition Assistance Program (ASNAP) who are currently receiving $277, and $336 for their additional family members who are currently receiving $208.
The EOY benefits will be paid using unspent ASNAP and ARPA funds from the current fiscal year budget. Moreover, USDA FNS approved our request to extend the expiration date of the ARPA benefits to November 15, 2023, to give our participants more time to use their benefits.
However, as with previous years, the regular ASNAP and EOY benefits will expire on September 30, 2023.
"We kindly remind all ASNAP recipients to check their food coupons' expiration dates to ensure they spend their benefits within the allowable period. "With these EOY benefits, all ASNAP participants receiving $277 will receive a one-time total of $773 per person in food coupons for September ($277 + $160 + $336 = $773).
"Similarly, individuals who are approved by ASNAP as an “additional family member” of ASNAP participants and are currently receiving $208 will receive a total of $544 per person in food coupons for the month of September ($208 + $336 = $544)."
The EOY benefits will be distributed along with the regular monthly benefits for September by the ASNAP Office beginning tomorrow, Friday, September 1st, through Friday, September 29th, 2023, by alphabetical order for easy distribution.
Director Muavaefa’atasi extends his heartfelt faafetai tele and appreciation to the USDA FNS Western Regional Administrator Jesus Mendoza, SNAP Director Charles Tobin, Grants Management and Administrative Services Director Rebecca Hobbs, and their staff for their continued support of the American Samoa Nutrition Assistance Program and our ongoing need for food assistance for our vulnerable population.
Director Muavaefa’atasi also thanks Governor Lemanu and Lieutenant Governor Talauega for their steadfast leadership and support for DHSS and its Programs.
Director Muavaefa’atasi also urges all participants receiving EOY benefits to spend them wisely to purchase healthy foods for better health outcomes. Please contact the ASNAP office at 633-7720/7451 for more information.
The schedule for mass issuance has been distributed to the local television and radio stations.
Photo Credit: Samoa News