For the fifth time since the start of the economic downturn, El Pomar Foundation is distributing emergency funds to Colorado nonprofit organizations helping those who continue to struggle meeting basic needs.

Throughout the state more than 150 nonprofit organizations that focus on direct human service support will receive grants totaling $1 million over the next month, including 31 in the Pikes Peak region of El Paso and Teller counties. The money is being distributed through El Pomar’s Colorado Assistance Fund V.

Local organizations will receive a total of $299,000. The single largest grant is $75,000 to Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado. Other local grant recipients include: Catholic Charities ($25,000); Salvation Army ($20,000); and Ecumenical Social Ministries ($15,500).

While there are indications that economic conditions may be improving, a recent survey of more than 150 Colorado health and human service providers conducted by El Pomar Foundation indicated that the needs are still great. According to respondents:

• 88 percent saw an increase in demand for services over the last 12 months.

• 59 percent saw a decrease in donations over the last 12 months.

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“Throughout the state, health and human service providers are still challenged by an increase in demand for services coupled with a decrease in funding,” said El Pomar Chairman and CEO William J. Hybl. “The trustees of El Pomar feel strongly that this remains an area where the Foundation can make a significant difference by providing resources for those organizations that are supporting Coloradans still struggling to get by on a daily basis.”

To make funding decisions, El Pomar trustees worked with an already existing network of nine advisory councils representing rural parts of the state to identify those nonprofits outside the Front Range best positioned to offer immediate assistance. Pikes Peak-area (El Paso and Teller County) grant recipients were identified by El Pomar trustees and grant officers.