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SALVATION ARMY, EAST OHIO GAS CONTINUE FUEL FUND PROGRAM

CLEVELAND, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- For the twelfth straight year, The Salvation Army and East Ohio Gas will team up to provide needy customers last-resort assistance to avoid utility service disconnection in 1996. The People-Helping-People Fuel Fund (PHPFF) will provide this help.

The Salvation Army administers the PHPFF, which is funded in part by a $50,000 grant from the Consolidated Natural Gas Foundation. Consolidated Natural Gas (NYSE: CNG) is the parent company of East Ohio Gas. After initial grant money is exhausted, East Ohio Gas will match public contributions to the fund, dollar for dollar.

East Ohio Gas today presented the $50,000 check to Lt. Colonel Norman H. Voisey, Salvation Army Northeastern Ohio Division Commander.

The program will again accept private contributions in 1996 and East Ohio Gas President Tom Newland noted that the need for private contributions continues. "The People Helping People Fuel Fund will provide an extra margin of safety and peace of mind this winter heating season to truly needy customers," Newland said. "Through the Fuel Fund, eligible customers who face a utility shut-off can apply for a one-time grant of up to $150 to retain or resume service," he said.

The program is available to eligible East Ohio Gas customers, including those customers in the River Gas Division, which serves the greater Marietta/Belpre area of southeast Ohio. Customers served by West Ohio Gas Company in Lima, Ohio, an East Ohio Gas sister company, also may seek assistance.

The program serves customers who have exhausted financial help from the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), the Ohio Energy Credits program and public assistance. Newland described the 12-year joint effort as a "successful partnership" designed to improve the quality of life in East Ohio Gas territory. "The Salvation Army has an outstanding track record and maintains a network of community centers with trained people in every area served by East Ohio Gas and West Ohio Gas," said Newland. "They have done an outstanding job of administering the program so that the truly needy are well served."

Last year, the program provided more than $53,130 to 1,678 people, according to Lt. Colonel Voisey.

Program income eligibility criteria are based on the HEAP standards of household income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. For example, a family of four with an income of $22,200 or less would be eligible for Fuel Fund assistance, provided they had exhausted all other forms of aid and could show proof of an imminent utility service shut-off.

Lt. Colonel Voisey emphasized that Fuel Fund contributions from the community will be used in the area from which they are received. Tax- deductible Fuel Fund contributions can be sent to:

The Salvation Army

People-Helping-People Fuel Fund

PO Box 5847

Cleveland, OH 44115
 -0- 12/20/95


/CONTACT: Tracy Oliver of East Ohio Gas, 216-736-6219, or toll free in Ohio, 800-556-4400; or Philip Mason of the Salvation Army, 216-623-7488/

CO: East Ohio Gas; Salvation Army ST: Ohio IN: UTI SU:

CS-BG -- CLW009 -- 7276 12/20/95 11:30 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 20, 1995
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