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Nearly 2,000 families affected by COVID-19 receive financial support from LA insurance agency

1 year 10 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, June 23 2020 Jun 23, 2020 June 23, 2020 3:12 PM June 23, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- One Healthy Louisiana Medicaid health plan has stepped up to provide some much-needed support to families that have been negatively affected by the spread of coronavirus.

Louisiana Healthcare Connections has partnered with 20 community-based organizations to distribute 1,900 pre-paid gift cards to those financially affected by COVID-19, according to a news release on Tuesday, June 23.

The gift cards are for businesses that sell food, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene items, such as Walmart and Amazon.

“Our state has been extremely responsive by streamlining and increasing access to healthcare, unemployment and SNAP benefits, but these programs do not cover personal items or cleaning supplies. This gift card program addresses that gap for the families who need it most," Chelsea Graves said, the Community Relations Principal for Louisiana Healthcare Connections. 

The program has provided relief for 350 households in East Baton Rouge Parish, and the response has been one of overwhelming gratitude, according to Councilwoman Donna Collins Lewis (District 6).

“Needless to say, during this difficult time, families are having to make many adjustments, and the needs are greater than ever before,” Collins Lewis said on behalf of YWCA of Greater Baton Rouge. “Many families are receiving SNAP benefits, but as we know, that program does not allow for the purchase of toiletry and other personal items that are so greatly needed right now, especially with families having to be at home all day. We are so grateful to Louisiana Healthcare Connections for recognizing this need and for their continued commitment to our community. Our families are deeply appreciative of the work they do in our city.”

New Orleans Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen (District E) donated 500 gift cards to residents in need.

"Speaking on behalf of Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic Training (VIET), one of the non-profit organizations working to distribute the gift cards, Nguyen said, “While families are struggling with the unknown healthcare issues related to the coronavirus, these gift cards have provided a sense of comfort and relief that they can take care of their basic needs. I applaud Louisiana Healthcare Connections for investing in our most vulnerable families during this time of crisis.”

According to the release, 500 families along the I-20 corridor were given gift cards as well. New Horizons Independent Living is one of the organizations that has been distributing the cards to client families in need, according to Gale Dean, LCSW, Executive Director.

"This unprecedented epidemic truly requires all of us working together to address the challenges faced by local families,” Dean noted. “We are fortunate to have partners like Louisiana Healthcare Connections that share our commitment to helping families affected by COVID-19 to get the resources and services they need when they need it most.”

Other organizations currently distributing the gift cards on behalf of Louisiana Healthcare Connections include:

- Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority – GNO/ABO Charitable & Educational Foundation of New Orleans

- Children’s Coalition of Monroe

- Acadia Council on Aging in Crowley

- Families Helping Families of Shreveport

- Family Promise of St. Tammany in Slidell

- Family Strong Foundation of Lafayette

- Greater St. Luke Church in Baton Rouge

- HOPE Ministries of Baton Rouge

- Livingston Parish Council on Aging in Denham Springs

- L.O.V.E. Community of DeQuincy

- Novare Foundation in Monroe

- Ouachita Parish Council on Aging in Monroe

- YMCA in Bogalusa

- YWCA of Northwest Louisiana in Shreveport

- The Extra Mile in Alexandria

- Total Community Action in New Orleans

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