With the bitter cold of winter is fast approaching heating bills will start to eat away at your budget, but SNAP can help provide financial assistance to keep your home heated.
When SNAP opened up their first round of heating assistance appointments on November 6 all 6,000 filled in just 48 hours. It shows just how great the need as winter sets in.
"We do know families who can't get their heat back on or have to leave and move to a different house because they can't heat their homes," Carol Weltz with SNAP said. "For the amount of money we get we only serve about 25 percent of the population that's eligible in Spokane County."
Weltz, who is SNAP's energy operations coordinator, said they help about 14,000 people a year keep their heat on during the winter.
By her estimate there are more than 40,000 people who are still struggling, but there are options if you need help.
"All of the appointments are filled now except for conservation education classes," she said.
The conservation class will teach you winterizing your home with stuff like window plastic and outlet insulators. After the class you get an appointment with SNAP.
"We still have about 100 appointments available," Weltz said.
There's also "Project Share" for the truly desperate times.
"That means either a shut off notice or less than 10 day supply of fuel in your home," Weltz explained.
Project Share can help you pay past-due heating bills and get you back on track. And if you use wood to heat your home, SNAP can get you a free cord. The agency teamed up with the Airway Heights Correctional Facility and got inmates to chop up wood.
"They deliver it to people for free and they give out about a cord to everybody who calls," Weltz said.
And, if you can wait two months, new energy assistance appointments open up on January 21. They'll have 4,600 available and they won't last long.