by Leslie Garman, Director of Development & Outreach
“If you were here right now, I’d give you a hug!”
No, I’m not the one saying that; Marisol, a DMARC food pantry visitor is. And she’s saying it because she’s grateful—to you.
Thanks to you and your support, the DMARC Food Pantry Network continues to serve as a safety net for our community’s most vulnerable, including women like Marisol, who are doing their best to make ends meet and provide for both themselves and their family.
And Marisol’s story is all too common. She is just one of the 58,700 unique individuals that DMARC assisted in 2020 through the DMARC Food Pantry Network. As a single mom with a high school-aged daughter she also helps her son who is a young father provide for her two and a half year old granddaughter. But, where Marisol is unique, she is also one of the less than 5% of Latinas in the U.S. who has a master’s degree. Even so, sometimes she needs help to make ends meet.
This was the case when Marisol came to Des Moines in 2017. “I remember packing vividly—there was only enough space for me and my daughter in the truck. There was no furniture and we had only enough money for the deposit and first month’s rent—nothing else. My plan was to find a job and make enough money to cover the next month’s rent. I had no money for food.”
Finding a pantry was high on the “to-do” list and Marisol found Urbandale Food Pantry, one of DMARC’s 14 partner food pantries. “They were so organized, so kind and so very helpful. They were non-judgmental and the volunteers were great!”
Growing up, Marisol’s family were migrant farm workers. Originally from Mexico, her parents and their 11 children traveled wherever work could be found, and Marisol traveled with them from the tender age of six to seventeen.
“They did this so that their children would have a better life. It was my parents’ goal and my goal as well. But even making $18 an hour I sometimes need help.”
But Marisol remains positive. “If I could, I would give everyone who supports a food pantry a hug. It is so hard sometimes because you have to pick which bill you will pay when you don’t have enough money. It’s a continual juggling game.” She is grateful for health, her family and friends. And organizations like DMARC that really help people in need.
We are grateful for you too! Your continued support will help people like Marisol. On behalf of the many people like Marisol who are doing their best, but still need help, thank you in advance for your continued support to DMARC.
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