In the three weeks since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, 2-1-1s across the U.S. have received over 50,000 requests for food pantries. During the same period in 2019, food requests totaled 11,561. As the charts below illustrate, this 340% increase was a sudden and dramatic shift from typical demand for food pantries. Our analyses examined food pantry requests to 2-1-1s in 26 states for every day of 2020 – January 1st through April 1st (top chart) and the same time period in 2019 (bottom chart). Notes: the shorter bars in both charts are Saturdays and Sundays when 2-1-1s are open but receive fewer calls; states in this analysis are AL, AR, CA, CT, DE, FL, HI, IA, KY, MA, MD, ME, MN, MO, NC, NE, NJ, NV, OH, PA, SC, SD, TN, VA, WI and WY.
Contributors: Balaji Golla, Irum Javed, Matthew Kreuter