WASHINGTON – As winter continues to grip Delaware and major portions of the country, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del) welcomed the news Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will release an additional $1 million to supplement Delaware’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). In October, Delaware received more than $11 million in LIHEAP funds.

“As colder weather heads into our state, it’s important that we are aware of the challenges that face some of our most vulnerable neighbors,” Senator Coons said. “Making a decision between heating your home and putting food on the table is something no one should be faced with. This additional funding from HHS will continue to assist those families and individuals and ensure they won’t be forced to make those decisions through those cold winter months.”

Non-profit organizations like Catholic Charities will administer the additional funds.

“Catholic Charities continues to see an increased demand for heating assistance as the frigid winter weather arrives. LIHEAP funding allows households to be comfortable without having to make difficult choices between heat and rent, food, or necessary medical care,” said Richelle A. Vible, Catholic Charities Executive Director.

In early October 2014, Senator Coons and 45 of his colleagues sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell reminding her that LIHEAP is the main federal program helping low-income households and seniors with their energy bills. LIHEAP funding helps more than 19,000 at-risk Delawareans and its absence could mean a choice between medicine, groceries, or heating the home.

Senator Coons is committed to protecting funding for LIHEAP, as well as investing in other energy efficiency programs, such as weatherization, that can keep heating costs down for Delaware families.

If you or someone you know are in need of assistance to heat your home this winter, please call Sen. Coons’ constituent services representatives at 302-573-6345.