Statement on the Shooting at Cornerstone Church of Ames

Last night, a gunman killed two young women in the parking lot of Cornerstone Church in Ames before taking his own life. We are saddened and outraged to see yet another instance of people being killed at their sacred place of worship. DMARC stands in solidarity with the families and friends of those killed, Cornerstone Church, the student body of Iowa State University, and the Ames community and we mourn the loss of those killed. Yesterday’s tragic act of violence follows a multitude of shootings in recent weeks. On Wednesday, four people were killed by a gunman at a ...

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DMARC Launches Data Visualization Dashboard for the Public

DMARC has launched a publicly-accessible data visualization dashboard for its Food Pantry Network. The data visualization dashboard is now live and can be accessed at data.dmarcunited.org. DMARC has been utilizing an internal data visualization dashboard since 2017, but the dashboard has been housed on a limited number of DMARC computers due to privacy concerns. The new public-facing dashboard aims to provide similar data in a way that protects the privacy of people who use the Food Pantry Network. “DMARC’s data visualization dashboard paints a stark picture ...

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DMARC Holds Second Storytellers Roundtable on Hunger and Food Insecurity

DMARC held its second Storytellers Roundtable on Hunger and Food Insecurity on Saturday, February 26, at Central Library in downtown Des Moines. 10 participants joined DMARC to share about their own experiences with hunger and food insecurity. Some common themes and beliefs that were shared by the group included: Many people have medical reasons that keep them from working, either mental or physical, both acquired and innate. Some participants expressed that they wish they could work, but can't. A general sense of despair, feeling looked down on, exploited, ...

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Attacks on Public Assistance Programs are Offensive and Wrong

By Matt Unger, Chief Executive Officer, DMARC For 70 years, the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) has been bringing people together from across the religious spectrum to meet basic human needs for Greater Des Moines. One thing that people of all faith backgrounds can agree on is the need to feed our neighbors who are facing hunger and food insecurity. The DMARC Food Pantry Network assists tens of thousands of people in our community with healthy food, and we know our work is most effective when paired with strong state and federal programs. Additional ...

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DMARC Statement on Hostage Situation at Congregation Beth Israel

The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) stands with the Jewish community of Colleyville, Texas, and with the wider Jewish community of Greater Des Moines, the state of Iowa, and the world. While we are relieved that all four hostages were physically unharmed, Saturday’s hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel is just the latest example of the rising levels of antisemitism our nation is experiencing. No one should feel unsafe in practicing their faith or attending a house of worship. DMARC condemns all acts of religious hatred and violence. From slurs and ...

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DMARC Statement on Bomb Threat at Burns United Methodist Church

This weekend, DMARC was saddened to learn about the bomb threat directed at Burns United Methodist Church, a Historically Black Church that has been a part of our community for over 150 years. This threat is not one that should be taken lightly. Throughout our nation’s history, Black churches have been the targets of racist intimidation and violence through bombings, arsons, and shootings. And as we have seen, these threats continue to this very day. It is imperative that we call out racism and religious bigotry whenever and wherever we witness them, and refuse these ...

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Opportunities

by Tara Leigh Kramer. A shorter version of this article first appeared in the Nov/Dec/Jan 2021-2022 issue of The Voice. One definition of the word "opportunity" is "a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something." I fell ill, and my symptoms became profound. I lost the ability to eat and digest food properly. The malnourishment and weight loss changed my appearance drastically. My brain wasn't functioning the way it had before. I was confused by everything and lost the ability to communicate. I lost the ability to advocate for myself, and nobody I ...

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Marisol’s Story

by Leslie Garman, Director of Development & Outreach "If you were here right now, I'd give you a hug!" No, I'm not the one saying that; Marisol, a DMARC food pantry visitor is. And she's saying it because she's grateful—to you. Thanks to you and your support, the DMARC Food Pantry Network continues to serve as a safety net for our community's most vulnerable, including women like Marisol, who are doing their best to make ends meet and provide for both themselves and their family. And Marisol's story is all too common. She is just one of the 58,700 unique ...

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DMARC Honors the Life of Forrest Harms

Rev. Forrest Harms, former Executive Director of the Des Moines Area Religious Council, passed away on November 5 at the age of 79. Harms served as Executive Director of DMARC for 17 years, from January 1990 to July 2007. Rev. Harms was dedicated to the interfaith mission of DMARC, and worked to create opportunities for interfaith learning through the January Thaw adult education series and interfaith panels, forums, and worship services. In 1992, he created the DMARC Interfaith Service Awards Luncheon to honor congregations and organizations who demonstrated a shared ...

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DMARC Launches Mobile Food Pantry at CareMore Health with $10,000 Donation from Amerigroup Foundation

The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) is launching a mobile food pantry with a recent $10,000 Amerigroup Foundation donation at CareMore Health’s Des Moines Care Center, 1530 East Euclid Avenue in Des Moines. DMARC’s mobile food pantry will be on-location at CareMore from 2:00-4:00pm on Wednesday, October 27, and will be there every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month following. Visitors to the mobile food pantry can select from a variety of healthy foods available. Once per calendar month, visitors can receive a 3-day supply of food based on family size, ...

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