Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF) provided a record amount of heating oil to households in its Kuskokwim Delta member communities this winter.
According to a press release, CVRF distributed 35 gallons of oil to 2,170 households this year, a total increase of about a third from last year. The nonprofit also distributed oil as part of its elder program, bringing the combined amount to 113,000 gallons of oil.
CVRF has provided heating oil assistance for the past 10 winters, spending an average of $200,000 a year. This year’s figure was close to double that: $383,885. According to its 2016 report, CVRF delivered over $15 million in benefits in 2015.
Dayna Blakeley-Nash is CVRF’s community service representative in Chevak and interim heating oil program coordinator. She says, “There were a lot of laughs, happy tears, hugs and handshakes while our residents picked up their heating oil.” She says it helps alleviate the high cost of energy in rural Alaska.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an average family in the Calista region may spend over $4,000 a year on nearly 870 gallons of heating oil.
Image: An aerial view of Scammon Bay, one of CVRF’s member communities (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard, public domain).