Thousands of Michigan residents reaching out to The Salvation Army to stay warm this winter will be able to with statewide energy bill assistance funded by the non-profit organization and Consumers Energy.

This morning on "Andy in the Morning," Roger Morgenstern, Consumers Energy's senior public information director, and Maj. Norman Grainger, Kent County coordinator for The Salvation Army of Western Michigan & Northern Indiana, discussed Consumers Energy's $1.6 million contribution to The Salvation Army.

With additional financial support from The Salvation Army it will mean $4.5 million in energy bill assistance for customers this winter.

Morgenstern said Consumers Energy has a long-standing relationship with The Salvation Army and we’re pleased to work with an organization with such a history of service to assist those who need help.

"We are committed to helping the Michigan communities we serve, and we know we can make a difference by providing assistance that allows our customers to meet their basic energy needs," he said.

"More importantly, it provides a way to empower customers to escape from the cycle of recurring need," Grainger said.

How can you get assistance? It is available from several sources. You can CALL 2-1-1 first to find out what resources are available in your area.

Log on to www.consumersenergy.com/care to learn more about Consumers Energy's CARE program. You can also check online www.consumersenergy.com/assistance to learn about programs that help customers through tough times, or call (800) 477-5050

You can access the resources of the Salvation Army by calling (855) 929-1640