Requests to 2-1-1 for diapers and toilet paper have increased up to 20-fold in some states since the COVID-19 pandemic. Low-income families seldom have the luxury of buying large quantities of toilet paper in bulk to last months and months. Instead they buy small quantities more frequently. When local stores run out, many families have few options. And for low-income families with young children, day care often provides diapers during the 8 hours a day a child is there. When day cares closed for COVID-19, that’s 4-5 more diapers to buy every day. That’s difficult for families on a tight budget. 2-1-1s receive and track requests for diapers and toilet paper. We compared the number of requests for these products in the first 13 days of the pandemic – March 12-24, 2020 – to the number of requests during the same days in 2019. Requests increased in all 22 states we examined. The chart below show the percentage increase for each state.
Contributors: Balaji Golla, Irum Javed, Matthew Kreuter