The Bulletin Board

Outreach on energy and food assistance approved by Executive Council

By: - October 19, 2022 3:37 pm
A person picks up produce

The outreach would aim to inform families already using food assistance about fuel assistance they could qualify for and vice versa. (Getty Images)

The Executive Council approved a request Wednesday from the Department of Health and Human Services to share information with the state’s five Community Action Program agencies so they can contact households about food and fuel assistance ahead of an expensive heating season.

The department is now authorized to share names, mailing and e-mail addresses, and phone numbers with those agencies to aid in outreach efforts, according to the request. The confidential data would be used only for that purpose, the request states. The agencies already assist families with enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Fuel Assistance Program.

The outreach would aim to inform families already using food assistance about fuel assistance they could qualify for and vice versa.

Under enrollment in assistance programs is a problem in New Hampshire. Around 69,000 people used SNAP in 2021, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank that analyzes federal and state budget policies. As many as 17,000 children and thousands more adults could qualify for SNAP who aren’t enrolled, according to a New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute brief analyzing the most recent data available from 2019.

Around 24,000 households were enrolled in the Fuel Assistance Program as of July. Both programs are federally funded.

Most households earning up to 130 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for SNAP. In 2022, an individual earning up to $13,590 or a family of four earning no more than $27,750 would likely qualify.

Households that earn up to 60 percent of the state median income are eligible for fuel assistance. That would be a single person earning $38,969 or less or a family of four earning up to $74,941.

Contact your local CAP agency to apply for fuel assistance. To apply for SNAP, go to nheasy.nh.gov.

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Amanda Gokee
Amanda Gokee

Amanda Gokee is the New Hampshire Bulletin’s energy and environment reporter. She previously reported on these issues at VTDigger. Amanda grew up in Vermont and is a graduate of Harvard University. She received her master’s degree in liberal studies, with a concentration in creative writing, from Dartmouth College. Her work has also appeared in the LA Review of Books and the Valley News.

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