Low-income families offered help with paying utility bills
March 23, 2009
By Jeff Richards
Time is running out for families hoping for a little help paying their monthly bills for power and gas.
Partnering with the Salvation Army, the Issaquah Food Bank has been assisting low-income families with their utility bills through the Warm Energy Fund since January.
Cherie Meier, executive director of the food bank, said they have given out about $11,000 in assistance so far. She added that she expects the fund to likely run out by April.
She said the food bank is very grateful to have the money and to be able to help people who are at the breaking point and don’t know what to do.
“Some people come in with $900 bills. I had one as high as $1,100,” she said. “It’s like, how are they going to pay this.”
Families seeking assistance need to bring in their utility bills to the food bank and have proof they are a low-income household.
Low-income households are those that earn less than 80 percent of the median household income in King County. The median for a household of two was $32,550 in 2008.
A family can take advantage of the fund only once per year with maximum assistance of $250.
This is the first year the food bank has offered the Warm Energy Fund. Meier said there are plans to continue it yearly and it should be able to offer the fund again in December.
The Issaquah Food Bank is located on the corner of First Avenue Southeast and Southeast Bush Street in the Issaquah Valley Community Services building.