Nutrition Assistance Program available to seniorsThe Nutrition Assistance Program for seniors (NAPS) is the Minnesota name for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).
By: By Mary Krueger, senior liaison, Alexandria Echo Press
The Nutrition Assistance Program for seniors (NAPS) is the Minnesota name for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).
Who qualifies for the program? People who are 60 years of age or older who are providing food for themselves. You must be a resident of Minnesota. Your household income must be within the guidelines set by NAPS. The USDA adjusts the guidelines once a year for inflation.
NAPS has monthly distribution sites. The location in Douglas County is through the Douglas County Senior Office. We distribute by the library.
NAPS requires certification for everyone who participates. When you call, you will talk with a NAPS staff member to see if you qualify. If you do, you will be told the day and time to come for certification. We will give you your ID card and your first food package.
The NAPS program provides this food to be eaten by the person on the program, not others in the house or other people. Recipes for the commodity foods are also available.
When you come in for your certification appointment, you need to bring proof of your identity, such as a driver’s license or passport. You will also need to prove your birth date. You will need to bring proof of residency, such as your monthly telephone or electric bill, or anything that contains your name and address.
You will need to tell the staff how many live in your household and what your gross income is. NAPS includes income from all sources. Your information is private.
After you have been certified, you will receive a free monthly food package for 12 months in a row. At the end of one year, if your income still meets qualifications, you will be recertified.
Sometimes there is a waiting list to become eligible for the program. If you cannot pick up your food box on the scheduled date and time, you can send a proxy. Your proxy will need to bring a note from you, your ID card and his or her own identification, such as driver’s license.
You can also call your distribution site. Food packages can only be distributed to authorized people, so be sure and bring your identification card with you.
The foods included in the package are four cans of vegetables, two cans of fruits, three cans of juice, three cans of evaporated milk, one dry milk every other month, two punds of cheese, one canned meat, one peanut butter or dry beans, two pounds of rice or pasta and two ready-to-eat cereals.
NAPS is a supplemental, not a total food program and we want to help you have a healthy diet. You can take the money you save from not having to buy these kinds of foods and use it to buy other healthy food.
If you would like more information on this program, contact North Country Food Bank at 1-877-281-3272 or contact Mary at the Douglas County Senior Office at (320) 762-3047.