DMARC Sees Substantial Increase in Use at Food Pantries
The DMARC Food Pantry Network saw a 39% increase in use in April 2022 compared to April 2021. DMARC’s network of 14 partner food pantries and mobile food pantry program assisted a total of 14,294 individuals this April. The trend has continued into the month of May, and May 3 was the single busiest day of DMARC’s Food Pantry Network so far in 2022.
DMARC Food Pantry Network Usage Report – April 2022
The DMARC Food Pantry Network saw a 39% increase in use in April 2022
DMARC attributes much of this increase to the end of additional benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in April, as well as rising costs for food and fuel.
“We knew this increase in traffic to food pantries was coming with the drop in SNAP benefits in April – and our monthly data clearly shows this to be true,” said DMARC Chief Executive Officer Matt Unger. “The need isn’t going away any time soon, and it’s likely we’re just starting to see the full brunt of what we can expect in the coming months as we move into the summer.”
The average household saw their monthly SNAP benefits reduced by $205.58 in April
In April, SNAP participants saw a reduction of at least $95 in monthly food benefits per household, with many people losing an even greater amount of SNAP benefits. The average household saw their monthly SNAP benefits reduced by $205.58 in April. The reduction came as a result of Gov. Reynolds lifting the state’s Public Health Disaster Emergency Proclamation on February 15, 2022, and Iowa no longer being able to access SNAP Emergency Allotments from the USDA.
The average per-meal benefit for individuals is now $1.53, down from $2.65 in March. Total SNAP benefits in Iowa were down 42.8% in April. The state of Iowa missed out on $45.5 million in estimated economic impact in April due to the SNAP reduction.
The number of people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) who also relied on the DMARC Food Pantry Network to meet their food needs increased by 4 percentage points – from 38% of all pantry visitors in March to 42% in April.
1,101 individuals used the DMARC Food Pantry Network for the first time ever in April
1,101 individuals used the DMARC Food Pantry Network for the first time ever in April – a 92% increase over the number of new individuals in April 2021. The 14,294 total people assisted in April 2022 is still below the record number of people assisted by DMARC in the month of April – April 2019 saw 18,403 individuals use the Food Pantry Network.
“We have seen this time and time again in our Food Pantry Network’s 46-year history,” said Unger. “Whenever government benefits are reduced or additional barriers to accessing programs are created, DMARC and other anti-hunger organizations see more people turning to our services to help make ends meet.”