Thursday, March 13, 2014

100,000 Oregonians get continued help from "Heat and Eat" program

Statement from Department of Human Services (DHS), March 11, 2014:

Today, Governor Kitzhaber directed the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department (OHCS) and DHS to continue the “Heat and Eat” program to prevent a cut in food benefits for the approximately 100,000 Oregon households that participate in the program.  

Recent media coverage about changes coming to SNAP as part of the new Farm Bill passed last month have focused on the Heat and Eat program. This week many states begin implementation of the Heat and Eat program changes called for in the Farm Bill. As you know, Oregon has a Heat and Eat program and for the past several weeks, we have been reviewing options and reviewing comments from stakeholders.  

Currently, DHS can qualify a SNAP applicant whose utilities are included in their rent for the energy assistance program known as Heat and Eat.  Participation in Heat and Eat program enables Oregon to give the SNAP applicant the full Standard Utility Allowance (SUA), which increases the amount of food benefits received each month.

Heat and Eat is funded by OHCS and is administered by DHS. Moving forward, the two agencies will develop a plan, with Community Action Partnership of Oregon, to implement the Governor’s decision.  That plan will be shared with you at the earliest opportunity. 

Thank you for all your hard work to connect people with the food benefits they need to be healthy.

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