Money for utility assistance is already running low

The Northeast Community Action Corporation says it's running out of money to help people pay their utility bills.

So they're asking people to register for assistance as soon as possible, to try and get a piece of the pie that's quickly fading away.

One of those people is Theresa Hirner. Hirner has lived in Hannibal her entire life. She said recent flooding and the power outage from last month's storm put her family in a financial pickle.

She's glad there's still some money left at NECAC to help pay her utility bill. Hirner said if it wasn't for NECAC, her family might have had their utilities turned off.

"We had to buy extra food, because without being without power. Some stuff had to be thrown out and you can't, you've got to let some things go to help. And if it wouldn't have been for NECAC I might not have no gas today," said Hirner.

It's one of the hottest days of the season and NECAC said its burned through about $125,000 worth of financial assistance that was available to them to help people pay their utility bills.

That's about half the money they got from the federal government to help people in their 12 county service region. And the 250 thousand dollars is about half of what NECAC got last year. So it's crunch time already.

"A lot of the places people traditionally went to after NECAC and other social service agencies, just aren't there anymore. They don't have the funding, they don't have the resources to help," said Brent Engel, a NECAC spokesperson.

NECAC is also providing fans and air conditioners to income qualifying people who are over the age of 60. They can get those on a first come first serve basis depending on if NECAC has any, that have been donated. The agency hopes people who are in need will take advantage of what's available and make sure they don't suffer through the heat of the summer.

If you need energy assistance through NECAC, you can call them at 800-748-7636.

You can also find them at