Family Emergency Assistance Program Fund

What happens to families when unanticipated expenses exceed their earnings or a sudden illness limits their ability to work?  Without even modest savings, families will fall behind and find it hard to put food on the table or meet basic needs.

In a caring response, the Pueblo of Laguna established an emergency assistance program within the Laguna Health and Wellness Department to provide support and assistance.  The approval process provides critical necessities to individuals and families in temporary crisis, or for those suffering from extreme hardship.

Laguna Community Foundation, with support from our donors, provides vouchers for food and gas. In the first 6 months of launching this program, 16 families and up of 30+ people, have received immediate relief.  In the short-term, the family stabilizes. Long-term, a reinvestment of local resources is realized because purchases are made at Laguna owned and operated grocery stores.

Here are some program highlights and lessons learned:

  1. In-take and screening processes are kept highly confidential and respect privacy.
  2. Experienced professionals review the situation and determine that all other benefits are exhausted before additional help is given.
  3. Due to extended family systems and multi-generational household situations, there may be more circumstances that contribute to food insecurity.
  4. As good stewards, Community Health Representatives (CHRs) and Benefits Services Staff , accompany individuals to purchase groceries and sundries; creating opportunity for real-time education on how to stretch food, make healthier choices, buy in bulk and freeze/store to prevent waste.
  5. Families without a car, proof of insurance, or a valid driver’s license now have access to bus passes through the program.

Laguna Community Foundation is seeking funding to continue support for Family Assistance. We are committed to prevention and generating additional resources, like financial literacy training and savings incentive programs.

Please donate today. A gift of $100 puts food on the table for up to 2 large families. A gift of $10,000 underwrites a major portion of the program up to one year. Your gift, in any amount, is 100% tax-deductible.

With deep appreciation to:

For major underwriting to pilot the program in 2017.

October 4, 2017