United Way implements new initiative designed to meet emergency needs caused by COVID-19

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - In times of crisis like what we're experiencing with COVID-19, people are more willing than ever to provide and care for their community members.

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United Way of Central Louisiana is known for responding in times of disaster.

CEO of United Way Cenla David Britt tells us people can utilize the 2-1-1 service, a number to call that provides information on COVID-19 and where to get help. But, the organization's new initiative will go a step further.

It's called 'Operation Cenla United' - a new program designed to connect residents in Central Louisiana with local churches and organizations that can meet any emergency needs caused by the coronavirus.

"So the concept would be, say in Pineville we have a family that's run out of food and is seeking emergency assistance," said Leader of Operation Cenla United Kevin Gebhart. "We're going to have a centralized phone number where that family can call in, give us their details, let us know that they're running out of food and we'll have a church partner in Pineville...that we'll have a point of contact at that church. We'll call that church member, we'll have a food box there that they'll pick up and deliver to that family."

Right now, the United Way is looking for local organizations, churches and social clubs to volunteer to partner. If interested, you can do so by calling 318-528-9776.

The United Way will release the number for Cenla residents to call into the 'Cenla United' program within the next 24-48 hours. Be looking on their website and Facebook page for that number.

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