Last year was a mild winter, this winter has been colder and has seen much more snow. This in turn has meant spending more to heat our homes. Families in central Maine that rely on heating assistance are receiving less assistance than last year, due in part to, the mild winter we had last year.Benefit amounts through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance program (LIHEAP) are based upon how much fuel participants used last winter. Couple that with a colder winter this year and much higher heating fuel prices and many families are having a tough winter.

On a personal note, I live in a mobile home, and K-1 prices are well over $4 per gallon. I ordered 100 gallons in mid-November and since mid-January, I have been putting in 3 gallons of kerosene 3 to 4 times a week and keeping my thermostat at 55 or lower.

If your family would like to learn more about heating fuel assistance here is some information for you.

If you would like to help other Maine families with heating assistance, you can donate to Keep ME Warm Fund at

There are also local events coming up to raise money for heating assistance. This Saturday, February 23rd, there is a Keep Winthrop Warm 6th annual chili, chowder, soup throw-down and raffle, to benefit community heating assistance for Winthrop residents. It will be held at Winthrop High School starting at 4:30 p.m.

Also this Saturday there is a benefit spaghetti supper for the Vassalboro Emergency Fuel Fund at the United Methodist Church starting at 4:30 p.m.