2-1-1 requests rising in NC meat packing counties

In North Carolina, counties with COVID-19 outbreaks linked to meat packing plants are experiencing a second wave of needs for food, housing and healthcare. We compared requests to 2-1-1 from counties with meat packing-related outbreaks to all other counties in the state. As the chart shows, the pattern of requests are nearly identical in the two types of counties from January through the week starting April 5th, 2020. After that, however, we see a steady decline in non-meat packing counties but not in meat packing counties. From a peak in early April, 2-1-1 requests in non-meat packing counties have dropped by nearly half (48%), while the decline in meat packing counties has been only 31%. In the last three weeks, requests in meat packing counties have actually increased, while requests in all other counties dropped by nearly a quarter (23%). Analyses included all food, housing and health care requests to NC 2-1-1 from January 5th to May 10th, 2020. Data are reported by week. Counties with meat packing-related COVID-19 outbreaks included Bertie, Bladen, Chatham, Duplin, Lee, Lenoir, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Wayne, Wilkes, Wilson. These findings also appeared in an article in the Charlotte Observer.

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