Archived Story

Mobile phone giveaway is today

Published 10:42am Thursday, May 16, 2013

People on federal or state assistance who are in need of a cellphone may be eligible to receive one today during a free phone handout at the Northbridge Mall.

As part of the government-issued Lifeline program, the handout will be near the food court of the mall from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Angela Enderson, advocacy coordinator for Senior Resources of Freeborn County, said the program is paid for through a subsidy on landline home phones. In the past it has been used to help people in need of help pay for a home phone, but she said in Minnesota the funds are starting to be used to help pay for cellphones.

This is the third time representatives with the program will be coming to Albert Lea.

Those applying for the phones will be asked to show a government-issued photo ID and proof of a government benefit, including food stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Supplemental Security Income. People who qualify for free or reduced lunches, disability payments, Medicaid or have a household income at or below the federal poverty level would also be eligible.

Cell phones are limited to one per household and applicants must be 18 or older.

Enderson said the cellphones come with 250 free minutes each month but additional minutes can be purchased at a low cost.

Phones have the capability to send text messages, but users are charged per outgoing and incoming text.