DMARC Awarded $30,000 from Ignite Community Innovation Challenge

DMARC is proud to announce it has been awarded $30,000 for winning the Ignite Community Innovation Challenge! The announcement came directly following a Shark Tank-style pitch to community investors. DMARC was one of three finalists for the Challenge.

DMARC’s concept, Food Pantry 2.0, will contribute to the advancement of hunger relief services by reframing the food pantry experience from a client’s perspective. Clients within DMARC’s Food Pantry Network will be awarded more freedom to choose the foods that are most appropriate for their needs. In addition, Food Pantry 2.0 will create the ability for clients to access assistance throughout the month, rather than getting all their food in one visit.

Food Pantry 2.0 will enhance current supplemental food assistance services within DMARC’s Food Pantry Network through implementation of an EBT-style vending system. Clients will receive a card that is pre-loaded with ‘pantry point’ credits that can then be spent within any of DMARC’s pantries, providing clients with a customized shopping experience similar to a chain of grocery stores.

Food items in the pantry will be assigned point values, and clients will select and purchase products based on available credits. Healthy choices will be incentivized by assigning cheaper point values to nutritious items. This model aims to empower pantry visitors to make healthier choices while simultaneously promoting self-respect through individual responsibility and self-sufficiency.

This will begin as a pilot program in one food pantry, yet to be decided. Once the system has been established, and the results evaluated, we will expand the Food Pantry 2.0 system to the Food Pantry Network as a whole.

DMARC would like to thank the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines and all Ignite Investors for the opportunity to participate in the Ignite Community Innovation Challenge!

To stay updated on our progress with Food Pantry 2.0, please subscribe to our weekly email newsletter, the eVoice.

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