Holiday meal requests drop in 2020

Last week we reported on a recent surge in requests for holiday meals in Broome County, NY. But elsewhere in the U.S., holiday meal requests to 2-1-1 are actually lower than in 2019. We excluded Broome County and examined 24,773 holiday meal requests received by 2-1-1s in 25 states during 2019 and 2020. As the chart shows, these requests were down 48% during October, 2020 (orange line in chart) compared to October, 2019 (blue line). In 2019, holiday meal requests peaked on November 26th, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. We expect rates in 2020 to remain lower than last year through November due to COVID-19. The pandemic has led many agencies to cancel hosting in-person Thanksgiving meals for large groups (called “congregate meals”), and some to cancel in-person sign up, pick up, or home-delivery of holiday meals. Data analyzed for this report came from 2-1-1 Counts, a daily tracking system of community needs. States included: AL, AR, CA, CT, DE, FL, HI, IL, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NJ, NV, OH, PA, SD, TN, WI and WY. Mouse over each line in the chart to see the 7-day moving average of holiday meal requests.

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