DMARC Food Pantry Network Responds to Explosive Growth

Cuts Food Given per Family by 25%

The DMARC Food Pantry Network is announcing it has made changes to the amount of food clients are able to receive each month, effective August 1, 2015. Currently, individuals and families can receive a four-day supply of healthy food once a month. Beginning in August, however, this monthly allotment will be reduced to a three-day supply of food, a decrease of 25%.

The reason for this reduction has to do with the large increase in the number of families and individuals seeking food assistance. June set new usage records, with the DMARC Food Pantry Network serving 5,652 families comprising 14,785 individuals. These numbers are the highest ever recorded in the Food Pantry Network’s nearly 40-year history.

This is the second successive year DMARC has experienced a 16-20% growth in the number of families served by the Food Pantry Network.

“In the face of a 20% increase in people served, and with donations lagging behind the need, we must temporarily reduce the amount of food we provide,” said DMARC Executive Director Rev. Sarai Schnucker Rice.

This decision was not an easy one for DMARC, but was deemed financially prudent in the face of such explosive growth.

“We considered eliminating some categories of food, but we wanted to be able to continue providing all the types of food on the USDA’s MyPlate so that people could eat a balanced diet,” said Rice. “We also considered limiting food pantry usage to every other month rather than every month, but felt as if this would be a bigger hardship for our families than allowing them to receive food every month, but in a lesser amount.”

Visitors to any one of DMARC’s twelve partner pantries will still be able to receive additional food aside from their health-based monthly food box.

“Food is available to everyone every day if they need it- bread products, Meals from the Heartland, dried beans, donated fresh produce, and all the donated food that doesn’t fit our healthy food model,” said Rice.

The trend of increased pantry use is not slowing down, and it is projected that in the month of July, the DMARC Food Pantry Network will serve even more families in need than in June.

In the summer months, more people are using the DMARC Food Pantry Network for food assistance, but donations are typically lower. Food drives, cash donations, and Red Barrel donations all help put food on the table for hungry families in Greater Des Moines. To help DMARC purchase much-needed food, make an online donation at Gifts of food or cash can be dropped off or mailed to DMARC at 1435 Mulberry Street, Des Moines IA 50309.

DMARC is committed to returning to a distribution of a four-day supply of food as soon as possible. We are grateful for a generous community and our pantry partners who join us in this important work.

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