Through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ (NCDHHS) COVID-19 “Support Services Program,” more than 35,000 households in the state got relief payments, food or other resources and services that helped them quarantine during the pandemic.

According to a Monday, March 29 press release from NCDHHS, the program is now winding down and no new services can be requested.

The Support Services Program, which began in August of last year, identified COVID-19 hot spots in North Carolina and provided assistance for those who needed various types of support in order to be able to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19.  The program’s services included home-delivered meals and groceries, financial help and supplies like masks and hand sanitizer.

The program was designed to last until the initial funding was used up – and now that funding has been.

NCDHHS officials noted that anyone who’s tested positive for the virus – or been exposed to it –  needs to quarantine or isolate; however, for some financially challenged families and individuals, it’s virtually impossible to do so and still have their basic needs met.

 That’s where the state program came in.

NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen stated in the press release that, due to the program, tens of thousands of people in the state were able to quarantine who might not have been able to otherwise.

“I am proud of my colleagues and grateful to our partners, without whom the Support Services Program would not have been successful,” Cohen stated. “NCDHHS is committed to addressing nonmedical drivers of health, including food, housing, transportation, employment and interpersonal safety, because we know taking a whole person approach is what will really improve health and well-being in North Carolina. Though this program is winding down, we will continue to focus on whole-person initiatives moving forward.”

Four of the department’s partners in the program have been  ADLA Inc, Duke University Health Systems, Piedmont Health Services’ Sickle Cell Agency and Quality Comprehensive Health Center.