Anthony Mackie launches fund to help grocery workers in Louisiana amid pandemic

“Avengers: Endgame” actor and New Orleans native Anthony Mackie has teamed with United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA), the New Orleans Council on Aging (NOCOA) and Entergy New Orleans to launch the United for Grocery Workers Relief Fund which supports struggling grocery store employees throughout Orleans Parish by providing them with a one-time $150 direct credit toward workers’ Entergy New Orleans utility bills.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, grocery store workers have been on the frontlines, providing households with food and other essential items during lockdown. Prior to the pandemic, they were often overlooked, but the world has realized that the essential service they provide. That said, grocery store workers who work for an hourly wage are literally risking their lives, making themselves vulnerable to COVID-19.

“We often take for granted the people that are always there for us. I go to the grocery store 3-4 times a week for me and my family,” said Mackie. “Every time, I come face to face with essential workers who are providing me and so many others with one of the most important necessities, food. Now, more than ever, it is important that we express our gratitude and appreciation.”

“The more we can do to support essential workers while we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, the better they are able to focus on caring for their families and the community,” said David Ellis, president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans. “We are proud to partner with New Orleans native Anthony Mackie, United Way of Southeast Louisiana and the New Orleans Council on Aging in supporting grocery workers who remain committed to ensuring residents of New Orleans have access to fresh and nutritious food.”

In Orleans Parish alone, industry data shows that 2,500 individuals are employed by grocery stores — and this fund will go beyond the pandemic. The partners will provide financial support year-round for these essential workers.

The online application is available now for those who work at a Louisiana-owned grocery store in Orleans Parish. For those without internet access or in need of translation services may call 211 to apply.

This story originally appeared in Deadline.

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