SNAP available for those who need heating help

SNAP is able to help the community through federal money, breaks from Avista, and thoughtful neighbors.

“Some of our funds are money that neighbors donate to help their neighbors get through the Winter months because they know how tough it is,” said Carol Weltz.

Weltz has been SNAP’s (Spokane Neighborhood Active Partners) Director of Community Action for five years. Her biggest frustration is watching local families struggle when they don’t have to.

“We see a lot of working families that could really benefit that don’t come in. Income levels are based on the amount of people in the household- so really you could make a little money and still be eligible for benefits.”

In 2016, with help from Avista and the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, SNAP was able to help 14,000 applicants pay their Avista bill.

Last winter, one of those customers happened to be a SNAP employee herself.

“Our heat bill skyrockets in the Winter – we have an old house,” explained Jalina Zinn. “Having a credit on our account kind of made it easier to spread it out over the Winter months and just pay a little bit and not have to stress.”

Given her unique prospective as an employee and benefactor of SNAP, Jalina has some advice for anyone who might be thinking about asking for help

“Just come in. Everyone here is so nice and friendly, and we’re here to help. It’s ok to ask for help.”

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