Government Engagement with Requests for Assistance During COVID-19

Case Study Last Reviewed: June 4, 2020

Online request forms and helplines can help officials assess constituent needs relating to food, hygiene, and medication procurement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through these resources, residents who are unable to obtain necessities for medical, physical, or financial reasons can request delivery assistance.

The following is a list of key findings and considerations for jurisdictions and communities regarding ongoing COVID-19 operations across the country. These are best practices for consideration and do not constitute and should not be considered as guidance in any way.

This document contains references and links to non-federal resources and organizations. This information is meant solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be an endorsement of any non-federal entity by FEMA, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or the U.S. government.

Potential Best Practices

  • An online request form helps officials directly assess the needs of their constituents. These forms may also feature helpline phone numbers to increase accessibility for individuals who lack reliable internet or need assistance navigating the webpage.
    • The District of Columbia provides its residents with an online COVID-19 Support Hub, where individuals can complete a form requesting assistance in procuring food, hygiene, and pediatric products, and necessary prescription medications. The webpage provides a phone number to call for those who need help completing the online form.
    • In New York City, residents can create an online account to request food delivery assistance if they indicate they are unable to obtain food for medical, physical, or financial reasons. Orders are delivered within three days of the order date and each delivery contains three days of food with a limit of 18 meals per delivery. Residents can also call 3-1-1 for help navigating the webpage.
Last updated February 3, 2021