by CVRF Staff
Each winter for the past 10 years, Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF) has provided energy assistance to families in its 20 member communities through CVRF’s heating oil program. The program helps residents offset the high cost of heating homes in Western Alaska.
Since 2008, CVRF has provided over $2 million in heating oil assistance through the program. This year, CVRF offered $383,885 in such assistance, enough for about 35 gallons of heating oil to each of 2,170 households.
The resulting distribution of 75,780 gallons of heating oil is a record for CVRF, a notable increase of 19,620 gallons from the previous year. The program also saw an increase in the number of participating households.
When combined with the 55 gallons of heating oil per person that CVRF distributed through its elder program earlier this year, CVRF provided more than 113,000 gallons in heating oil benefits to CVRF residents in 2018.
“Being part of distributing the heating oil program benefit to our residents is a great feeling because we see, first hand, the reactions of our residents,” said Dayna Blakeley-Nash, CVRF’s Community Service Representative in Chevak and interim Heating Oil Program Coordinator. “There were a lot of laughs, happy tears, hugs, and handshakes while our residents picked up their heating oil. The heating oil program is beneficial because it alleviates one of the hardships that our people face — the high cost of living in our rural area.”
Heating oil is one of the largest household costs for families living in Western Alaska where lower cost alternatives, like natural gas, are not available. According to the Alaska Rural Homeownership Resource Guide published by the USDA , the average 2-star energy rated home in communities served by CVRF requires 870 gallons of fuel to heat, which can cost as much as $4,000 per year.
“I am very happy for CVRF helping the community,” said Sharon Williams, a resident of Napaskiak. “When people were running out, CVRF provided heating fuel.”
Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF) is a 501(c)(4) Alaska non-profit corporation with 20 member communities located along the west coast of Alaska, from Scammon Bay to Platinum. It is one of six Community Development Quota (CDQ) groups granted fishing rights in the Bering Sea to foster sustainable and diversified local economies in western Alaska.
CVRF is dedicated to creating sensible, tangible, and long-term economic development opportunities that generate hope for the more than 9,300 residents of its communities. CVRF is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of one member elected from each community. It is the largest Alaskan-owned seafood company in history and the first CDQ group to own and control the vessels that harvest the vast majority of its CDQ allocations.
For more information, visit www.CoastalVillages.org and www.facebook.com/CoastalVillagesRegionFund.