‘Avengers’ star Anthony Mackie starts relief fund for grocery workers amid COVID-19
“Avengers” actor Anthony Mackie has launched a relief fund to provide financial aid to grocery employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mackie, who played Sam Wilson aka Falcon in the franchise, partnered with organizations in his hometown of New Orleans in the US for the effort, as per Deadline last Monday, June 8.
Along with the United Way of Southeast Louisiana, the New Orleans Council on Aging and Entergy New Orleans, the actor will be providing a one-time $150 (around P7,500) direct credit to grocery workers in the city for their Entergy New Orleans utility bills. Entergy New Orleans is an electric and gas utility serving the said city.
“Hourly-wage jobs, like grocery store workers, are often not afforded the same basic workplace protections—like paid sick leave and adequate health care—of jobs with higher wages and annual salaries, which leaves individuals in these positions especially vulnerable to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the groups stressed on the initiative’s site.
While the fund has been set up due to the ongoing health crisis, it aims to provide support to grocery workers year-round and not just during a state of emergency.
Mackie also emphasized the importance of grocery employees, saying, “We often take for granted the people that are always there for us. I go to the grocery store three to four times a week for me and my family.”
“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.” He said in the report. “Now, more than ever, it is important that we express our gratitude and appreciation.”
Meanwhile, the president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans, David Ellis, echoed the actor’s sentiments.
“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,” he said.
According to the report, 2,500 people are currently employed in grocery stores throughout New Orleans.
As grocery employees across the globe continue to work amid the health crisis, many of them have expressed fear of being infected with the coronavirus. This has prompted some of them to demand for better workplace protections such as shorter hours and hazard pay for working closely with the public.
Major grocery chains such as Walmart, Target and Kroger have responded to their employees’ requests by giving raises and bonuses for reporting to work during the pandemic. Ryan Arcadio /ra
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