Merchants Bank WARMTH $40,000 Challenge Grant
Helps Heat Vermont Homes this Winter
Merchants Bank is partnering with WARMTH to help prevent low income Vermonters across the state from going without heat this winter. Merchants Bank will match dollar-for-dollar all donations raised for WARMTH now through December 31, 2013, up to a total of $40,000.
For example, turn a $25 donation into a $50 donation with Merchants Bank’s challenge grant.
The $40,000 challenge grant will be distributed by CVOEO for use by all five community action agencies statewide for the emergency-based WARMTH program to help to offset home heating bills. Eligibility is based on household income as a percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Applicants must be within 5-7 days of running out of bulk fuel or in danger of having their utility service disconnected.
“Vermont is our home, too, and we know how cold it can get,” said Mike Tuttle, President of Merchants Bank. “We want to help our neighbors keep their homes warm this winter.”
During last year’s heating season, WARMTH provided over 4,000 assists to more than 2,800 households. This year, the number of households needing assistance is expected to go up. The problem is compounded by a significant reduction in assistance available per household because of changes to the Federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding.
There are two major components of LIHEAP funding: seasonal benefits, and crisis assists. In the 2012-2013 heating season the average seasonal benefit was approximately $900; this heating season it will be just $787. Last year, a maximum of three crisis assists was possible; this year only one. The WARMTH program supplements these seasonal benefits and crisis assists.
“The reduction in LIHEAP funding puts many limited income families at increased risk of going without heat during the winter,” said Jan Demers, Executive Director of CVOEO. “Weatherizing a home is the best long-term solution for energy savings, but WARMTH funding provides an emergency lifeline for families in need so they can stay safe and warm in their homes.”
To apply for home heating assistance, contact your local Community Action Agency. Vermonters age 60 and older may also call the Senior Helpline at 1-800-642-5119 for assistance.
Community Action Agencies in Vermont
- Rutland - 1-800-717-2762 or (802) 775-0878
- Bennington - (802) 447-7515
- Barre - 1-800-639-1053 or (802) 479-1053
- Randolph - 1-800-846-9506 or (802) 728-9506
- Morrisville - 1-800-639-8710 or (802) 888-7993
- Bradford - (802) 222-5419
- Chittenden County - (802) 863-6248
- Addison County - 1-800-639-2318 or (802) 388-2285
- Franklin / Grand Isle - 1-800-300-7392 or (802) 527-7392
- Newport - (802) 334-7316
- St. Johnsbury - (802) 748-6040
- Canaan - (802) 266-7134
- Westminster - 1-800-464-9951 or (802) 722-4575
- Brattleboro - (802) 254-2795
- Springfield - (802) 885-6153
- Hartford - (802) 295-5215
WARMTH is a statewide emergency-based program that utilizes privately donated funds to help prevent low income households from going without heat during the winter season. The Warmth program, which has existed since 1986, is administered by Community Action Agencies across Vermont; Community Action staff provides advocacy and financial assistance to households in need to help them resolve their home heating emergency. The Warmth program is intended to supplement the state’s Seasonal and Crisis Fuel Assistance services.