There are several ways to get free firewood. Government assistance programs including LIHEAP provide grants to pay for pellets or cords of fire wood for low income families. Charities near you may provide it to the needy, including seniors, the disabled, or working poor. There are also websites, sources such as national or local parks near you, and many other places for low cost or free firewood.
Low income households that heat their home using firewood or pellets can get financial help in paying for it. The federal government, or local states, provide financial aid or vouchers, mostly from LIHEAP. In addition, some charities such as the Salvation Army may provide free firewood or pellets to qualified low to moderate income families. If not qualified for charitable or government assistance, then websites, parks, forests, and other resources can be used in order to find scraps or firewood (seasoned or not) for a minimal price or even free.
Free firewood assistance programs for low income families
A number of households rely on firewood, pellets, cords of wood and related sources of fuel to heat their home. Maybe they use a wood burning stove or similar form of heat. There are assistance programs near you that will either help low income families pay for seasoned firewood or they give it out for free. Some of the resources are below.
The federal government Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, often referred to as LIHEAP (though it can go by other names in some states) will pay for firewood if it is the household’s primary source of heat. Families with a low income, living in poverty, senior citizens and the disabled can get help in the form of a cash grant.
The government run LIHEAP grant can pay for firewood (pellets or the wood itself), propane, kerosene, electricity, and other forms of utility bills during the fall, winter, or spring months. This is generally financial assistance for people who rely on wood burning stoves, fireplaces (or a similar source) as their primary source of heating during the colder weather months. Read more on LIHEAP government grants.
In cold weather states, it may be possible to get free firewood from charities near you. A few possibilities include the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, community action agencies, or even churches. Some thrift stores may also give out free wood scraps to burn in a fireplace or stove. The assistance programs can go by various names such as Wood Lot, HeatShare, and others.
A charity providing firewood is not common, but it is a possibility. Most charities or churches will rely on donations of wood, such as from a local business, then they may pass it out to a needy family. Or a non-profit budgets some of the financial aid they issue to help families buy the wood they need to heat their home. It will only be for income qualified families and based on available resources, as charities always have limited resources. Find charities for financial help.
Websites and other resources
There are places to go for free or cheap, seasoned or non-seasoned firewood for a fireplace or wood burning stove. The terms and conditions, prices, policies, and quality will all very. These are just some various resources that can help families, whether low income or not, get the wood they need for their home.
Websites with marketplaces can be one source or try a thrift store. These will be the “wild, wild west” though. There may be fire wood from businesses, individuals, the government, charities, or countless other sources. Some may be free; some may have a minimal cost. The quality of the firewood or prudicts at these places will also vary widely.
Some of the leading websites to try for scrap or firewood include Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Freecycle or just do a general google search. Here is a list of online marketplaces which may have wood, scraps, pellets, items such as old box springs to burn and similar goods.
Local businesses, home builders, constructions sites, tree companies or even neighbors may have firewood or scraps or pallets. Maybe a neighbor or local business near where you live cut town some trees. Or a construction site has some “scraps”. Either way these types of places can be a source for free or affordable firewood. They may charge a minimal cost, and it will also take time and money to possibly use these sources. Therefore, weigh that cost and time to check these places vs. just going out and buying a cord or pellets of firewood.
Government run parks or national forests may provide free firewood. Now of course this is only effective if the family lives near one; otherwise the cost to try these places may be prohibitive. Maybe they allow people to cut down trees in an effort to help clear the park of fire hazards. Or trees that are damaged or that have fallen can be taken and used for so called scrap firewood. However, this will often be unseasoned and the wood may need to age for a season or so.
Examples of these park based programs include Vermont's Wood Warms initiative, which charges a minimal cost for a cord of wood. But some very low income families can be given free firewood. National parks, which are in all states, also have a firewood policy that can often be referred to for help. Other states that can often allow wood to be cut down in parks include Maine, Colorado, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, New Jersey and others. Read a policy, which are often online, for a park near you to determine if it is an option.