The National Executive Committee (NEC) approved an increase for the Auxiliary Emergency Fund (AEF) grants in February. The new grant amount took effect at the beginning of the 2024 fiscal year, Oct. 1. The updated grant award is $3,000 for ALA members who have been affected by a natural disaster or other crisis and need urgent financial assistance.
The increase from $2,400 to $3,000 is a result of the rising cost of living and inflation. These rising costs impact millions of Americans, making it increasingly difficult for them to attain economic security. In July 2023, consumer prices were 3.2% higher than the year before. This has increased the cost of goods and services, making it more difficult for families to afford their basic needs.
The geographical disparities in the cost of living further exacerbate the issue. While inflation and stagnant wages affect everyone, those living in metropolitan areas face even greater financial strains due to the inflated costs of housing, transportation, and other necessities. The dream of city life — once synonymous with opportunities and advancement — is now accompanied by the harsh reality of financial stress and the constant struggle to make ends meet.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to pay for housing, utilities, or food, please apply for an AEF hardship grant. If you have been affected by a natural disaster and need financial assistance, please apply for an AEF disaster grant. For more information or to apply for one of these grants, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org/aef.