September 2022 Volume 32; Issue 12

You can view the complete newsletter here.


From the Executive Director's Desk

The federal fiscal year ends on September 30th. Approximately 70% of the funding Mid-Sioux receives begins at the federal level. Congress usually passes a continuing resolution to fund the government until they can pass a year-long budget. This will most likely be the case for the new year which begins on October 1st. A budget is possible by January 1, 2023. I certainly hope so.

In September, we begin Head Start classes for the new year and LIHEAP preparations are underway. Preparations are being made to open a W.I.C. office in Spencer to help cover our 6 new counties. We are hiring staff and making clinic preparations as well. A lot to do in a short amount of time.

Child care business consulting services are being expanded to cover the entire state. We are not certain as to the exact date we can begin this service as additional staff needs to be hired and services are still being streamlined. An exciting time for us as we have not previously provided services on this scale.

On August 29th, Senator Joni K. Ernst paid a visit to our Rock Valley Head Start classroom. We had a very good visit with the senator and were able to show her the great partnership we have with the City of Rock Valley and Project Youth Daycare. Our Head Start staff did a wonderful job explaining services.

The holiday seasons are very near - a great time of year. I look forward to fall and the holidays. Please be cautious during the upcoming harvest. I am hopeful that our farmers have an abundant crop.

Dick Sievers
Executive Director


Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Fall weather is in the air and so is the annual Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LiHEAP).  Applications are accepted on a first-come/first-served basis from November 1st thru April 30th each year. Elderly and disabled clients may apply beginning October 1st.

 What is LiHEAP?

LiHEAP is designed to aid qualifying low-income households (homeowners and renters) in the payment portion of their residential heating costs for the winter heating season, to encourage regular utility payments, to promote energy awareness and to encourage reduction of energy usage through energy efficiency and client education. All households applying for this program will simultaneously be making application for weatherization assistance as required by state law.

This program is not designed to pay a household’s total energy costs. It will provide supplemental assistance based on several factors including household income, household type, household size, dwelling type, and type of heating fuel, among others. The average payment per household is $400.

 Who is Eligible for LiHEAP?

A household may qualify for heating assistance if the total household income falls within 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. 

Size of Household/Annual Household Income

  • 1 - $27,180
  • 2 - $36,620
  • 3 - $46,060
  • 4 - $55,500
  • 5 - $69,940
  • For family units with more than five members, add $9,440 for each additional member.

What Documents Do I Need to Apply?

  • Social Security Card or I-94 Card - We require a copy of the original card for each household member.
  • Current Heat Bill and Electric Bill - This may be two separate bills.
  • Proof of Income. This includes total household gross income from all sources. We must have complete proof of income to process your application.
  • Fixed Income: Includes Social Security Income, Aid to Families with Dependent Children or F.I.P., Veterans’ Assistance, Unemployment Insurance and Pensions. Provide a copy of your most recent check or a bank statement showing automatic deposit.
  • Wage Earners: Attach copies of your check stubs for 30 days preceding the date of application, the past 12 months or the most recent calendar year Federal Income Tax Return 2021 or 2022.
  • Self-Employed/Farmers: A copy of your 2021 or 2022 Federal Income Tax Return.
  • Other Income: Alimony and child support will also need to be verified.

Where can I Apply?

Please call your local outreach office to schedule an appointment or call 1-800-859-2025. Again, this year, persons can apply over the telephone, by mail, or in person. Online applications ( can be taken starting November 1, 2022.

Clinics will also be held in October at the following locations: Aurelia, Marcus, Quimby, Washta, Kingsley, Remsen, Akron, Battle Creek, Holstein, Hawarden, Orange City, Rock Valley, Larchwood, and George.

  • 712-225-3322 - Cherokee County
  • 712-546-6603 - Plymouth County
  • 712-364-2175 - Ida County
  • 712-722-3611 - Sioux County
  • 712-472-3746 - Lyon County
  • Visit us on the web at
  • Central Office 1-800-859-2025 / Hearing Impaired call 711

What is ECIP?

Energy Crisis Intervention Payments (ECIP) are made for weather-related and supply shortage emergencies. Money can help with furnace repair/replacement, temporary shelter, purchase of blankets and/or heaters, fuel delivery, reconnect fees, service continuity, and cooling.


Child Care Resource & Referral

Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) recognizes the important work of child care providers. We are tasked by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support programs, assist families searching for care, and connect with communities struggling to provide services for children. We are excited to share that CCR&R's strategic child care services, provided in all 99 counties, meet or exceed the goals set by HHS.

In Fiscal Year 2022, our top priority included supporting programs that are re-opening or struggling to stay open while also engaging in the recruitment of new programs.


Outreach Services

Mid-Sioux’s Outreach offices are the contact point for persons needing service. Outreach staff takes applications for Mid-Sioux programs as well as make referrals to other agencies that may be of assistance to families. Referrals are a huge part of outreach duties. Outreach staff is responsible for knowing what resources are available in their service areas. If we are unable to assist a family with a need, we try to send them out the door with the contact information of someone else that may be able to. Referrals range from health care, to housing, to disability services. Staff have also been getting out to our collaborative community meetings to spread the word about our services, as well as to keep updated on other services available.

We are approaching a very busy time of year for our outreach offices. After completing many applications over the summer for rent and utility assistance, and completing the Back to School Program, they are now gearing up to take applications for the Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program. Letters have been sent out to previous applicants and we will begin taking applications for the elderly and disabled October 1st. Applications for everyone else begin on November 1st. Applicants can call their local outreach office to schedule an appointment. All outreach offices will be closed on Wednesday, September 28th for staff to attend the annual LiHEAP Meeting.

Our Cherokee and Sioux Center offices maintain a food pantry. Clients are generally limited to using the food pantry once per month. We try to give families a 3 day supply of food when they come in, but when our pantry is low, putting together adequate food packages obviously becomes very difficult. Both of our food pantries have seen an increase in usage over the past 6 months, causing our supplies to dwindle. We are fortunate to have several other food pantries in the area that we do refer families to as well. Below are some staple items that are very helpful for us to have available for families:

  • Hamburger Helper
  • Canned Fruit
  • Pancake Mix and Syrup
  • Peanut Butter
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Tuna or Chicken
  • Pasta and Pasta Sauce

Outreach will soon be working on their holiday activities as well. We are always looking for sponsors for our Holiday Gift Program or Holiday Food Programs offered at Thanksgiving and Christmas. There are many ways in which people can help with these programs! If you are interested in helping with either of these programs or know someone that could benefit from the programs, you may contact your local outreach office:

  • Cherokee County Outreach
    • Monday, Wednesday & Friday: 8:00 - 4:30
    • 712-225-3322
  • Ida County Outreach
    • Thursdays: 9:00 - 4:00
    • 712-364-2175
  • Plymouth County Outreach
    • Tuesday & Thursday: 9:00 - 4:00
    • 712-546-6603
  • Sioux County Outreach
    • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:00-4:30
    • 712-722-3611
  • Lyon County Outreach
    • Wednesdays: 9:00 - 4:00
    • 712-472-3746


Happy Fall from Sioux County Outreach!

We have a lot of exciting news to report! We’ve hired Amy DeGroot as our new intake staff for Sioux and Lyon counties! We're so glad to have Amy here. She is a great addition to our office. We have been doing some construction around our building: a new sidewalk has been put in from the front of our building to our back door, a new key fob security system is getting put on our front door, soon we will be getting a new sign for our yard and above our front door. YAY! Very soon people will be able to find us!!

Our food pantry has been very busy! You can definitely tell the cost of groceries has gone up because our clients are taking advantage of this service. We are always looking for donations and greatly appreciate the churches and businesses that either donate money or food and hygiene products to our pantry. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to provide this wonderful service.

The first of October, LiHEAP will begin. This year, everyone has to come in and update their information as well as bring in their income. That will keep us very busy! People can call either our Sioux County office at 712-722-3611 or our Lyon County office at 712-472-3746 to schedule an appointment to get set up for heating assistance. This also “restarts” them for all our other services.

In October, we will also be sending out our Christmas project letters. We will ask sponsors to donate gifts for income-eligible families in Sioux County and the elderly and disabled in Lyon County. If you have clients that are interested in being adopted this Holiday season or are interested in adopting a family this year, please contact Pam Ericson at 712-722-3611 or

We will also be purchasing food for either a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal for the income-eligible. Our families appreciate receiving all the fixings so they can make a wonderful holiday meal for their family. We will be asking for donations to help us purchase those items.

Upcoming events in Sioux County:

  • Saturday, October 8 – 7:30 AM – Harvest Half Marathon and 10K – All Seasons Center, Sioux Center
  •  Saturday, October 8 - 5:30-8:00 PM - Trick or Treat Hike at Oak Grove State Park – Kids 12 and under come in costume and can go trick or treating through the campground.
  • Saturday, November 12 – Craft and Vendor Show at Prairie Winds Event Center in Orange City

Please feel free to contact myself (Pam) or Amy about any questions you have for Sioux or Lyon County!

Written by


Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Inc. is a not-for-profit Community Action Agency established in 1965 to fight poverty at a local level by assisting low-income families in Northwest Iowa to become self-sufficient.

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