Fewer relying on fuel assistance, but need is still there

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HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Fewer Springfield-area families need fuel assistance this winter. The number is down about 5% from last year.

Kathy Cooley is the director of energy programs for the Valley Opportunity Council. They provide fuel assistance for more than a dozen communities, including Holyoke, Chicopee, and Westfield. Cooley told 22News that she is certain thousands will continue to need fuel assistance.

“They’re never going to get out of their income brackets, they’re always going to remain in those income brackets, whether you’re older or whether you’re younger. Not everyone has IRAs and pensions to fall back on,” Cooley said.

This winter, the Valley Opportunity Council provided fuel assistance to more than 12,000 individuals and families.

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