Iowa 211 has reached 35,000 calls from Iowans since the pandemic began, the organization announced. 211 connects Iowans to basic needs resources such as food, shelter, health care, transportation and child care. Iowa 211 began fielding calls using information provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health on March 8. Since beginning that partnership, nearly 20,000 Iowans from all 99 counties have contacted 211 via telephone, text or the 211 app to ask questions specifically related to COVID-19. An additional 15,000 calls have been received with more typical 211 requests related to employment, housing, food, transportation, utility assistance and other human service needs. “Iowa 211 is pleased to serve as a trusted source of information for Iowans. We appreciate the Iowa Department of Public Health’s confidence in the capabilities of our statewide service,” 211 Director Melissa McCoy said in a statement. “We have experienced a 300% increase in call volume since March 8th. Our four call centers collaborated closely to rapidly scale up the necessary staff and technology to meet the needs of Iowans.” On Thursday, Iowa 211 also announced receipt of a gift of $25,000 from the Iowa Credit Union Foundation to provide support for capacity building within the system. Read a story from last month about the call volume.