With the current sunny days and warm weather, fall and winter may be the last thing on your mind. But, in less than two weeks, summer will officially end, and many states will begin to see a drop in temperatures. The fall and winter seasons can be a time of anxiety for millions of low-income households in the U.S. Shorter, colder days mean that these individuals will need to figure out how to keep their homes heated, provide warm clothes and food for their families and survive the frigid temperatures. We created this article to provide up-to-date information and resources so you and your family can be prepared and stay safe this upcoming winter.
Next, I am going to answer the following questions:
- Where can I get help with my heating bills?
- Are there organizations that offer free food in the winter months?
- Where can I get free winter clothes?
- How should I prepare my home for the winter months?
- What can I do to prepare my family in case of an emergency?
- What other programs offer assistance to low-income families?
Where can I get help with my heating bills?
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) was created to help low-income families bear the cost of cooling and heating their homes. LIHEAP also covers the purchase of a boiler (only in emergencies) and repairing or replacing equipment for your home. LIHEAP also assists you in preparing your home for the winter months by providing services such as low-cost home improvements, known as weatherization, to make your home more energy efficient and lower your heating bills. For more information about LIHEAP, such as how to apply, I encourage you to read the following article: Reduce Your Electricity Bills With This Program.
Are there organizations that offer free food in the winter months?
Almost every city in the United States has food pantries to provide free food year-round to those in need. If your family needs some essential items to cook at home or a hot meal, you can find a local site using this helpful search tool: https://networks.whyhunger.org. Just type in your zip code, and you’ll find details and locations of a food pantry near you.
Where can I get free winter clothes?
Having warm clothes such as jackets, scarves, gloves, and hats is critical during the cold winter months. Buying these items can get very expensive for a family, but it doesn’t have to be. The following organizations dedicate themselves to handing out free winter clothing.
- Salvation Army
- One Warm Coat
- Mutual Aid Hub
- Operation Warm
These are just a few of the wonderful organizations that assist families in need. For more information, I encourage you to read the following article: Know Where You Can Find Warm Winter Clothes Without Spending This Season.
What can I do to prepare my family in case of an emergency?
You and your family must prepare for weather-related emergencies such as power outages, blizzards, and more. The CDC recommends creating an emergency kit for your home and car.
In your home emergency kit, you should include the following items:
- Canned food that does not require refrigeration or cooking;
- Cases of water, stored in a clean and dry area;
- Flashlight and extra batteries;
- Fully-charged power bank for your cell phone and electronics; and
- First-aid kit and extra medicine.
For your emergency car kit, include the following items:
- Items to stay warm such as extra hats, gloves, jackets, sleeping bags, and blankets;
- Non-perishable food and water;
- Shovel and windshield scraper;
- Booster cables or jumper cables; and
- Portable charger, extra batteries, and a flashlight.
We recommend signing up to receive emergency alerts from your local county. For more information on how to sign up, please click here.
What other programs offer assistance to low-income families?
At Noticias Para Inmigrantes, we seek to provide relevant news, information, and resources to empower the Latino community in the United States. We have dozens of articles sharing resources and programs for low-income families, such as:
- Free clothes in good condition;
- States that offer economic assistance;
- Free high-speed internet for families;
- Free or low-cost legal help; and
- Free furniture.
We also share news and information about immigration, laws and policies, taxes, and more!