Helping the elderly during a pandemic; What services are provided through United Way’s 2-1-1

Community

OUACHITA PARISH, LA (KTVE/KARD)– organizations like the United Way have not stopped due to the pandemic. Instead, they’ve worked harder over the past year meeting those needs and using local programs to help our most at risk. For those who don’t know where to get help, 2-1-1 is the perfect place to start.

United Way’s 2-1-1 service is a way to connect residents to local community services that can provide resources to those in need. Out of the 12 parishes they serve, they have all types of organizations that can help different needs…including the elderly.

“Now that people are more stressed, they might be needing things they never thought about before. Being able to call 2-1-1 gives you a live person to speak with that can talk you through the issues you are facing and help you get to what could be helpful to you,” said Janet Durden, President of United Way of NELA.

For senior citizens who are at risk, 2-1-1 can connect them to the Ouachita Council On Aging. The organization has a program called “Meals on Wheels”, where anyone over 60 years old can apply to have food delivered to their house. This is based on needs, not income. Currently, they deliver an average of 350 meals a day in the parish.

“I think it is important that particularly senior citizens know they are not alone and that there is someone they can talk to work through what they are facing and find a resource that might be helpful for them,” said Durden.

Another resource 2-1-1 can connect older residents to is the Foodbank of Northeast Louisiana.
They have a senior program that provides monthly groceries to over 1,400 low-income seniors.
If these aren’t the resources you are looking for, you can call 2-1-1 on a cell phone or landline to connect to organizations, no matter your zip code.

Now, the Ouachita Council on Aging also has a drive through meal distribution every afternoon for seniors. You must call and register the day before. In addition, the Foodbank will have a mobile pantry food distribution in lincoln parish tomorrow at the Ruston Sports Complex at 10 A-M.

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