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Ouachita Council on Aging looks to passed relief bill for help continuing work



MONROE, La. – Some northeast Louisiana agencies are hoping to get funds from the recently-passed COVID-19 relief bill.

Even though the Ouachita Council on Aging had to close the doors to its senior centers throughout the parish, they never stopped working.

Lynda McGehee, executive director of the Ouachita Council on Aging says through their Meals on Wheels program and the congregate meals they provide daily, they’ve been able to help more than 300 seniors in Ouachita Parish. In total, OCOA has provided around 175,000 meals since the pandemic began.

The agency also provides seniors transportation, “which is essential for seniors to be able to get to the doctor. So we do non-emergency medical transportation,” McGehee says. “That means we take seniors to dialysis. And that is one of our biggest trips that we make every day is to dialysis. And then we take them to cancer centers, and also hospitals and private physicians.”

Along with volunteers and community partners, McGehee says the Cares Act funding they received last year was a big help as they continued their services. Now, they’re hoping to get more funding from the new relief bill so they can continue helping those in need.

“Forward to being able to find out just what kind of funding we’re going to be able to receive. We certainly hope that we’re going to be able to get some funding so that we can continue the meals Program.”

Money awarded from the bill will be sent to the state where it will be decided just how much help organizations like the Ouachita Council on Aging will receive.