November Shatters Food Pantry Network Usage Record
This November, the DMARC Food Pantry Network served more individual and families than any other month in our 40-year history of food assistance.
18,415 individuals sought food assistance from the Food Pantry Network in November 2016. Last November, which had previously held the record, saw 16,281 individuals served. This is an increase of over 2,000 people, or 13.1%!
DMARC also served significantly more families than ever before. November 2016 was the first time we’ve ever served over 7,000 families in a single month: 7,453.
Interpreting the Data
Some of this increase is due to the expanded services of the DMARC Mobile Food Pantry, which launched in July of this year. Currently, the Mobile Food Pantry is visiting nine different partner mobile sites throughout the metro area. The sites are located in neighborhoods and areas that have been identified as having low-access to affordable and nutritious food.
The opening of Clive Community Services earlier this year and the DMARC food pantry there also contributed to the increase in pantry use across the Network.
However, the Mobile Food Pantry and new pantry site at Clive Community Services only account for about 25% of the increase in individuals served.
Food pantry usage at physical pantry sites also increased this November, at an average rate of 10% more visitors this November than the same time last year. The Drake Area Food Pantry and Urbandale Food Pantry saw the most substantial increase in pantry traffic. Their increase can in part be attributed to expanded pantry hours and special holiday programs.
A Note About October
This fall, we migrated to a new client database and intake software. During this process of moving to a new system, some data was incorrectly recorded for the month of October due to user error. We believe our numbers for October are significantly higher than our data shows.