- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare is making a change in its heating assistance program that will translate into hundreds of millions in food stamp benefits.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Wednesday (https://bit.ly/NUZbqh ) that the agency will spend $8 million to preserve $300 million in food stamps for up to 400,000 families.

Connecticut and New York have taken similar steps, and others could follow before a deadline next week.

A federal farm bill enacted last month halted a practice referred to as “heat and eat” that provided more food stamps to families that received even minimal heating assistance. The farm bill required at least $20 in heating aid before higher food stamps benefits applied.

The Corbett administration’s move is expected to prevent an average decline of about $65 a month.

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