August 8, 2014—The LIHEAP Clearinghouse released a four-page issue brief this week titled A New Framework for "Heat and Eat:" LIHEAP and SNAP After the 2014 Farm Bill. The brief examines how the Farm Bill impacts states that have coordinated their LIHEAP and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs in the past.
For years, over a dozen LIHEAP grantees coordinated the two programs to help low-income households both heat their homes and feed their families. They did this through programs known as "Heat and Eat," under which they provided a nominal LIHEAP benefit—from $1 to $5—to help low-income households maximize their SNAP benefits.
This practice changed with passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, which required that the LIHEAP benefit in Heat and Eat be more than $20. The issue brief examines the history of Heat and Eat, and the policies that allowed its creation. It also details how LIHEAP grantees and federal lawmakers responded to the changes mandated by the Farm Bill. Finally, it covers the advice given to LIHEAP grantees by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to make sure that the grantees keeping Heat and Eat are abiding by the statutory requirements for LIHEAP when it comes to benefit levels.
Source: LIHEAP Clearinghouse