ROCKLAND — The colder temperatures are approaching and volunteers at AIO Food and Energy Assistance have begun making appointments with clients to discuss fuel and energy needs for the 2020-2021 winter season. Appointments to receive assistance can be set up by telephone at 207.596.1043 or email email@example.com.
Vouchers are being written for up to 100 gallons of fuel. Based on current levels of funding, we hope to issue vouchers until April 1. Due to the Public Utilities Commission’s regulations, electricity disconnections cannot happen between November and April. Therefore, AIO will begin conversations with families who have received disconnection notices starting in April.
According to AIO, in a news release, it is important to note that AIO will help each family with one fuel voucher OR one electricity disconnection per season.
“With the opening of AIO’s new facility, we planned to serve Energy Assistance clients in the privacy of our new office space,” said Rhonda Nordstrom, AIO’s Energy Assistance Program Manager. “However, due to Covid-19 health concerns, we are conducting appointments over the telephone. We miss the personal connection with our clients but feel this is the right approach at this time.”
In FY19-20, AIO served 386 families, giving $108,000 in fuel and electricity vouchers.
“As this coming winter is predicted to be a cold one, we expect the need to increase,” she said. “Also, as a result of the pandemic, many people are working from home or are unemployed and many children are schooling remotely making it important to have the heat on all day. This year, through the generosity of our donors, AIO is able to increase the budget for heating fuels to $100,000 and electricity disconnections to $30,000.
“AIO is fortunate to have committed, caring volunteers and fuel company partners to administer this program,” said Nordstrom. “It was so special to hear a voice message from a client who took the time to call to confirm her fuel had been delivered and to thank AIO and our community of fuel providers for their help.”
AIO has helped people with energy assistance for many years and made it a major focus in recent years when it became apparent that this is an underserved area, according to AIO.
In 2020 the name AIO Food Pantry was changed to AIO Food and Energy Assistance to reflect the organization’s commitment to help with food and energy insecurity.
For information about AIO’s programs go to www.aiofoodpantry.org
To make an appointment call (207) 596-1043.