The needs are for real and likely will grow - food assistance calls went up 778% in the past two weeks
Calls to Trident United Way’s 211 resource phone line have dramatically increased as the COVID-19 crisis has evolved. Calls to the Tri-County line are up 94% in the past week compared with earlier in March.
The dramatic increase happened in mid-March after Governor Henry McMaster announced the state of emergency order. Needs are likely to increase as U. S. Treasury officials say it could take up to three weeks for federal assistance from the recently passed stimulus plan to be sent out.
Tri-County 211 call-type increases in past two weeks
Food Pantries +778%
Rent Payment Assistance +99%
Electric Service Payment Assistance +32%
Tri-County food pantry referrals went from four per day in early March to more than 35 per day and rent assistance referrals doubled from 7.5 per day to nearly 15 per day
“We have our friends, neighbors, family members now impacted by this, whether they are ill, economically impacted because they might work in a hospitality or other industry that’s been so impacted, so we’re going to see a rapid increase in the need, said Trident United Way President & CEO Chloe Knight Tonney. “We are going to have to continue to accelerate philanthropy, this is a longitudinal event, this is not a hurricane, it’s a longitudinal event and we’re going to be in this for awhile. There’s a segment of the population that we may serve on a regular basis. Now imagine that on steroids, because we have our friends, family members, neighbors now impacted by this.”
Video from Trident United Way President & CEO Chloe Knight Tonney