November Needs: Food, COVID-19 requests grew fastest

From October to November, requests to 2-1-1 for food assistance and COVID-19 information increased more than any other needs. Of the 10 needs for which requests increased most during November (blue bars in chart), half were food-related: holiday meals (+269%), feeding children (+20%), soup kitchens and meals to go (+12), home-delivered meals (+8%), food pantries (+6%), and help buying food (+3%). COVID-19 requests, most commonly seeking information and testing locations, rose 160% as new cases increased dramatically in nearly every state. In contrast, requests for utility bill payment assistance dropped in November (-17%), as did requests for help with electric (-16%), gas (-12%) and water (-3%) bills. Residential energy costs tend to be cheaper when demand is lower, during Fall and Spring. Other needs declining in November are shown in red bars in the chart. Overall, requests to 2-1-1 were 47% higher in November than October. This increase would likely be even higher, but call volume to 2-1-1s drops sharply during Thanksgiving weekend. Data for these analyses came from 2-1-1 Counts, a daily tracking system of community needs, and included 991,661 requests in October, 2020 and 1,461,910 requests in November, 2020 received by 2-1-1s in 31 states. Mouse over each bar to see the number of requests in each month and the percentage increase or decrease.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *