211 call volume up 30 to 50 percent this year

Omaha, NE – Calls to the United Way's 211 line are up as much as 50 percent this year compared to 2008.

The 211 line serves as a resource for referrals and information about utility assistance, food pantries, mortgage or rent assistance and other basic services. United Way of the Midlands spokeswoman Kathy O'Hara says call volume increased 30 percent in August compared to the same time last year.

O'Hara says many people calling 211 urgently need help with basic services. But she says the line also takes calls about converter boxes, the safe haven law, and swine flu.