Monday, the Salvation Army will start accepting applications for those seeking an emergency delivery of oil.
The province earlier this month allotted $121,000 to the Salvation Army’s Emergency Home Heating Assistance Program, about $4,000 less than in 2012.
That amount was split between the Salvation Army in Summerside, which received a third or about $41,000, and the Charlottetown Salvation Army, which received two thirds to be administered to help those in need in Queens and Kings counties.
The P.E.I. Petroleum Marketer’s Association has once again contributed to the program, donating 9,600 litres of heating oil, 2,400 litres more than last year.
This year marks the fifth consecutive year the association has aided the program.
Karen Mallett, with the Summerside Salvation Army, said the need this year appears to be greater than in the past.
“There were approximately 95 to 100 applications last year. It went in about 10 days,” said Mallett. “It should go just as quick. I can’t see it being any slower because of the phone calls that we have been receiving.”
Changes to eligibility for employment insurance coupled with increasing fuel and food costs have left many finding it difficult to make ends meet.
Last week, days before the Summerside location would begin taking applications, Mallett was receiving about a dozen calls a day inquiring about the program.
The Salvation Army Thrift Store was also taking calls.
There are guidelines the Salvation Army has to follow in administering the program.
Applicants must apply in person at the Salvation Army’s All Weather Highway location and are encouraged to use the food bank entrance.
“We can’t do it over the phone,” said Mallett.
The Salvation Army will take applications beginning at 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, Monday to Friday, until the funds have run out.
Those applying cannot be on social assistance or reside in low-income housing or Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) housing.
Each applicant must provide a copy of their 2011 income tax assessment, photo identification and Health P.E.I. cards for all residents of the home. They must also give their oil tank tag number and expiry, the name of the company that provided their last oil delivery and the date of that delivery.
Each eligible applicant will receive a 400-litre delivery of oil, which costs, to date, an average of $446.
“That’s the price up until the 15th, when that could change,” Mallett said, referring to the date when the Island Regulatory Commission reviews fuel prices and allows for increases or decreases in per-litre prices.
Noonan Petroleum will be making the deliveries throughout most of Prince County for the Salvation Army.
Mallett said based on the interest in the program and the phone calls she has received, the amount allotted by the province and the contribution made by the P.E.I. Petroleum Marketer’s Association won’t be enough to help everyone in need.
“Monday will tell the tale when people actually do come in to see me and I see what they do have and they don’t have. We will continue receiving applications until our money is gone.”