Mike Hutchinson and other volunteers at the Suncoast Technology Users Group are accustomed to turning old technology into problems solved. 

But now they’re faced with a new problem: not enough technology to circulate back into the community.

The Sarasota-based nonprofit refurbishes and donates roughly 1,200 computers to people in need every year. This year, STUG has donated roughly half as many due to low numbers of requests and donations.

More:Read more stories about digital access for people in Sarasota-Manatee

Hutchinson says that schools, businesses and nonprofits are usually the organization’s biggest hardware contributors. But as more students and families become reliant on their computers to learn and work from home, those contributions have slowed. 

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, roughly 10% of households in Sarasota and Manatee counties did not have a computer between 2014 and 2018.