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Free monthly food box available for seniors

Free monthly food box available for seniors

Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors (NAPS) is the Minnesota name for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

Who qualifies for NAPS? Anyone 60 years of age or older who is providing food for themselves, is a Minnesota resident and a U.S. citizen. Household income must be within the guidelines set up by NAPS.

How do I apply? Contact Mary at (320) 762-3047 at the Douglas County Senior Office. When you come in for your certification appointment, you should bring proof of your identity, such as a driver's license or photo ID, birth date and proof of residency.

You also need to tell the staff member how many people live in your household and what your gross (before tax) household income is. NAPS includes income from all sources for all household members; no deductions are taken for medical or shelter. The information you provide is private.

After you qualify for the program you will be given an ID card. You can send a proxy (a person to replace you) if you are unable to pick up your box yourself. You just need to let the NAPS staff know who this person will be.

The proxy will need to bring your card and their own identification, plus a note from you in order to receive your box.

The NAPS program certifies a senior for 12 months. At the end of the year, if your income still meets the guidelines, you can recertify for another 12 months of monthly food boxes.

If you or your proxy do not pick up your food box for two months in a row, you will be taken off the program. You may reapply any time.

What foods do you receive? The foods are chosen because they contain the nutrients needed for good health. You will receive a variety each month:

â-- 2 cans fruit, 4 cans of vegetables and 2 bottles of juice.

â-- 24-ounces of canned beef, chicken, beef stew, tuna or beef chili without beans.

â-- 2 pounds of rice or pasta.

â-- 18 ounces of peanut butter or 2 pounds of dry beans.

â-- 2 ready-to-eat cereals or 1 hot and 1 ready-to-eat cereal or 3 pounds of oatmeal.

â-- 2 quarts of shelf stable milk, 2 pounds of low-fat cheese, and every other month, instant non-fat dry milk.

Distribution in Douglas County is at 806 Fillmore Street (Douglas County Library parking lot) on the second Thursday of each month from 12 to 2:30 p.m. There is staff available to help you carry your box to your vehicle. Call and apply today.