DMARC is on the Move to Mulberry Street!
After many years at the 36th Street location, the Des Moines Area Religious Council is announcing the move of the DMARC offices and warehouse to a new location – 1435 Mulberry Street, southwest of downtown Des Moines. The former Central Iowa Shelter and Services site has been purchased and Munro Construction is in the process of renovating the interior space and site.
“This relocation project is exciting for multiple reasons,” explained Leanne Valentine, President of DMARC’s board of directors. “By moving our offices and warehouse into this facility, we will quadruple the warehouse space available for food.” The new food distribution center will have 6,000 square feet, up from the current 1,600 square feet at the 36th Street site.
Estimated savings should be about $250,000 annually, by being able to buy and store food rather than having to always use it immediately. “The additional space will allow us to purchase food in bulk at lower prices and to accept large donations of food, allowing us to better serve the community,” said Valentine.
Valentine continues, “There will also be more opportunities to volunteer and to contribute to the work DMARC is doing to provide healthy food to the food insecure in our community.” The new facility space will also allow for use of warehouse equipment instead of relying solely on manual labor.”
Food Pantry Network Director Rebecca Whitlow shared, “The current warehouse functions more like a staging area than an actual warehouse – every week, we move 30,000 food items through this space.” The new location will help reduce pick-up and delivery costs because of its proximity to the 13 partner pantry locations. “Every month our MovetheFood initiative helps transport almost 118,000 canned food items and nearly 82,000 pounds of fresh produce from the main warehouse to the food pantries,” stated Whitlow.
In 1952, DMARC started a foundation of shared faith through area congregations. DMARC Executive Director Rev. Sarai Schnucker Rice explained, “For the last 36 years, working to meet basic human needs, has been at the heart of our mission in Polk County.”
Rice continued, “With the support of many wonderful community sectors – from grocery stores to local farmers, from congregations to corporations, we’ve been fortunate that everyone wants to pitch in and we are so grateful!”
DMARC plans to be in the new space by the end of the year.