The Iowa 211 information and referral system says it has reached a milestone of 35-thousand calls from across the state since COVID-19 pandemic began.
Iowa 211 Director Melissa McCoy says the call centers have seen "a 300% increase in call volume since March 8th. That's the date Iowa 211 began taking calls using information in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health to specifically handle questions about COVID-19.
Through phone, text or the 211 app callers can get information on food, shelter, healthcare, childcare, transportation, jobless benefits and other disaster services and governmental programs. The 211 call center also has mental health resources for those callers needing them.
The free service is operated by the United Way of Central Iowa, United Way of the Midlands, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and Gunderson Health System. Users can connect by dialing 2-1-1, texting their zip code to 898211, through the 211 app, or on the web 211iowa.org.