The New Braunfels Utilities Assistance Program offered through the New Braunfels Food Bank still has funding to process applications, but due to high demand and lack of staffing, the response time may take longer than expected, according to the NBFB.

According to Junaris Abueg, New Braunfels Food Bank program manager, the utility assistance program received over 100 applications Aug. 1-15, which is a new record.

Those who apply for the program can receive assistance on their utility bills within two days if all of the documents are submitted correctly. If the documentation is incomplete, the process can take from five days to two weeks, according to Abueg.

The UAP applies to people in immediate need of financial assistance and is only geared toward applicants needing assistance on one utility bill. If the applicant needs more than one month of utility assistance, they are referred to other agencies in the community such as Community Council that can help them with long-term bill assistance, Abueg said.

"Most of our funding is geared toward the monthly bill, so one application [equals] one assistance, Abueg said.

To qualify for the UAP, applicants must actively receive utilities from NBU and display a hardship or inability to cover utility expenses. The program cannot assist with closed accounts or deposits and does not cover any additional fees or taxes associated with the bill.

Abueg said the best advice he can give to an applicant is to get all the documentation ready and submitted correctly so it will be faster to receive support.