2-1-1 In the News
WKRN.com News Channel 2 (Nashville, Tennessee)
United Way 211 calls spike in down economy
More people are turning to United Way of Metropolitan Nashville to keep food on their plates.
The agency's 211 help line has experienced a 65% increase in calls for food assistance so far this year compared to 2008.
The 211 help line serves approximately 53 counties in the state.
At the Nashville call center, program director Doug Fluegel told News 2 between 12,000 and 20,000 are answered each month.
"Calls are way up for basic needs. We see a lot of calls for food. In fact, we're up 65% during the 2009 calendar year compared to the same time last year," he said.
Leaders of the program say they're getting a lot of first time callers, an indicator of how wide-spread the recession really is.
"A lot of people who have never called us before are now," Fluegel continued. "They used to be a two income household, now they're one income or no income. They're reaching out to make the budget go as far as it can."
With increased demand, the United Way is in need of the following items:
A community rally to kick off the United Way's 2009 fundraising campaign will be held next month.
The rally is scheduled for Thursday, September 10 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at 250 Venture Circle in Nashville.
A volunteer food sort-a-thon will be held Friday, September 11 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Sommet Center.
Then, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., volunteers will meet at Sommet Center to deliver food supplies to partner agencies.