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PeoplesBank Donates to Local Fuel-assistance Programs

HOLYOKE — With home heating costs expected to spike as much as 60% this coming winter, many low-income individuals struggling to pay utility bills could face shutoff just as the cold weather sets in. Responding to this need, PeoplesBank has donated $45,000 in total to three local nonprofit organizations.

Although there are several government assistance programs designed to address this need, there is always a gap between the need and the available resources, as well as the ability to receive such funds in a timely manner when shutoff dates are looming. The bank’s Simple Emergency Fuel Assistance program aims to help fill those gaps.

“We understand that some of the most vulnerable residents of the communities we serve are at risk because of spiking fuel costs,” said Tom Senecal, president and CEO of PeoplesBank. “That’s why we partnered with these organizations that could help us create a simple way to get help quickly for those in need.”

In response to this emergency need, PeoplesBank is working with the following organizations to provide fuel assistance to the communities the bank serves:

• Hampden County: Valley Opportunity Council, www.valleyopp.com/energy-assistance/fuel-assistance, (413) 552-1554;

• Hampshire County: Community Action for Pioneer Valley, www.communityaction.us/fuel-assistance, (800) 370-0940; and

• Hartford area: Operation Fuel, operationfuel.org/gethelp, (860) 243-2345.

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