Announcing the Retirement of Sarai Rice

After 11 years of serving as Executive Director of the Des Moines Area Religious Council, I want to let you know that I will be retiring this summer. An open search for the next Executive Director of DMARC will begin immediately, with a new Executive Director selected by our Board of Directors by the end of June.

I am proud to say that, with your support, DMARC has made great progress the past 11 years in providing healthy food and fresh produce to people living with food insecurity in our community. When I began in 2008, the Board of Directors had already initiated the process of redesigning its own structure. In the midst of that work, the recession began and we successfully stepped up to a significant increase in food pantry usage. At the same time, we changed our food supply when we discovered that the people visiting our pantries had three times the incidence of diabetes of the general population. For a decade, we’ve kept our focus on providing healthy food for our clients while at the same time continuing to expand to meet growing food insecurity in the community.

We’ve also expanded our interfaith engagement work to include new faith communities, a dynamic partnership with Drake University, and a growing list of opportunities for congregations and community members to learn more about each other’s faith traditions. But there is still much to do. DMARC is committed to continuing its work of bringing faith traditions together
and providing healthy food and fresh produce, at no cost, to anyone in our community who needs it, whenever they need it. These principles will guide the selection process of the next Executive Director of DMARC.

It has truly been a blessing to serve our community in this role for the past 11 years. I have seen our organization grow in new and exciting ways: from our 1435 Mulberry Street Capital Campaign and relocation, to the launch of our Mobile Food Pantries, to our nationally‐recognized work with Food Pantry 2.0 and our data visualization dashboard. I have no doubt that even more exciting innovations are just around the corner!

Thank you for the opportunity to serve our community, and for your ongoing support of the Des Moines Area Religious Council.


Rev. Sarai Schnucker Rice
Executive Director

Cover photo: Board member Matt Strawn, Leslie Garman, Sarai Rice, and Past President Jody Mead at the 10th Anniversary celebration for Rev. Sarai Schnucker Rice and launch of the Fresh Fund on March 2, 2018.

2 Replies to "Announcing the Retirement of Sarai Rice"

  • Anne Bacon
    May 9, 2019 (3:18 pm)

    Congratulations Sarai! Our little corner of the world is better because of you. You will be greatly missed.

  • Linda Harvey
    July 29, 2019 (1:02 pm)

    Sarai has done so much for the greater Des Moines community! It was a great privilege to be on the board and see the “good works” that she was doing! Good Luck Sarai!

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