Community Connections Protects Tight Food Budget

posted 6/22/18 -- “The program could benefit a lot of people by helping keep bills down.”

Twonda Thorpe, a local bus driver, received her new energy efficient refrigerator and freezer last week, to her great relief.

“Any extra money this helps me save I will be spending on groceries,” Twonda said. “I live paycheck to paycheck. I don’t have money to pay for a new fridge. I can’t even afford to save extra money.”

The USDA has reported that even with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) benefits, low-income American households are spending 28 to 42 percent of their income on food. Keeping the food safe without causing energy bills to skyrocket is where Community Connections comes in.

Community Connections is a partnership between Lorain County Community Action Agency and Ohio Edison. LCCAA conducts energy audits and replaces appliances that are inefficient with newer models that cost less to operate. The program also provides energy efficient light bulbs.

“We saved $260 just on light bulbs!” said client Shae McNeil. “I hope this program continues. We are so thankful for this blessing.”

Jorge Arroyo received a new energy efficient freezer and refrigerator two months ago.

“Everything is perfect,” he said. “There was no issue whatsoever. It provides us with a better service. We feel secure because we have new items and the old one could have broke at any time.”

Jorge continued: “We need more programs like this for low income families. What will we spend the extra money we saved on? Well, probably on my other bills.”

“I feel blessed and thankful for Lorain County Community Action Agency,” Twonda added.

To see if you or someone you know could benefit from this program, click here, or contact Robert McDonald, Client Services Specialist at 440-204-3401 or email