Program offers free cell phones

Published 9:45 am Monday, June 25, 2012

At an upcoming event, people who are on federal or state assistance may be eligible to receive a cellphone free of charge.

Angela Enderson, advocacy coordinator for Senior Resources of Freeborn County, said the program is meant to help those people who are on assistance to be able to have a cellphone.

“The program is to get phones into the hands of people who don’t have one,” Enderson said.

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If people receive food stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income or qualify for free or reduced lunches, disability payments, Medicaid or have a household income at or below the federal poverty level, they would be eligible to receive a free cellphone. The program is for anyone of any age, but cellphones are limited to one per household. The cellphone would come with 250 free minutes each month.

A special event is set up for July 9 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Salvation Army at 302 Court St. for people to receive a cellphone. People who think they qualify must bring a photo ID and the last four digits of their Social Security number, proof of current address like a utility bill and proof of the type of assistance they receive.

Enderson said the program is sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission and people can call 651-270-6564 or email for more information. She said the program will help those who don’t have much expendable income to have a cell phone, something many people consider a necessity.

“It gives them the convenience and peace of mind benefits the rest of us have from having a cellphone,” Enderson said.