So, What’s Going on with DMARC and Food Bank of Iowa?
We have been getting a lot of questions from our supporters and the public about what’s going on with DMARC and Food Bank of Iowa, so we’ve put together a short FAQ to provide answers to some of the questions we’ve been receiving.
So, what’s going on with DMARC and Food Bank of Iowa?
Food Bank of Iowa terminated its partnership agreement with DMARC and 10 of our partner food pantries at the start of November. This means we can no longer place orders from their food inventory or access food rescue donations from certain retail stores in the metro area.
Why did this happen?
In September, the Food Bank of Iowa sent out a new contract addendum to all of its partners, requiring each food pantry to provide a three-day supply of food to visitors once per month from their full pantry inventory, “regardless of network affiliations.” The way the DMARC Food Pantry Network is set up is that anyone can receive a three-day supply of food at any one food pantry in the network once per month, with additional AnyTime Items available on a daily basis at all food pantries across the network. The new contract would not allow AnyTime items to meet the additional visits and instead would require providing up to 14 three-day supplies of food (or 42 days of food) through our network every month.
With limited resources, we could not sustain our current level of service if even 10 percent of those who came in a month made a second visit to the DMARC Food Pantry Network (we provide monthly assistance to 17,500-20,000+ unique individuals once each month). We simply don’t have enough food to do so, nor are we able to get enough from the Food Bank of Iowa to sustain such distribution.
Given the extremely tight timeline imposed by Food Bank of Iowa to make this change, many organizations did not feel they could sign the new contract. Four food pantries in the DMARC Food Pantry Network did elect to sign the contract addendum: Bidwell Riverside Center, Catholic Charities Outreach Center, Central Iowa Shelter & Services, and Urbandale Food Pantry.
What does this mean for the people you assist?
So far, this has not negatively impacted the people we assist. But without access to USDA food through the Food Bank of Iowa and food rescue donations through their retail partners, we are going to need to make additional food purchases to make up the difference. A lot of what has been available as AnyTime was provided through retail food rescue. We will need to raise more funds and foods to fill this gap, or ultimately, be faced with hard decisions about the quantity and quality of food we can provide.
What can I do to help?
Help raise awareness about food insecurity in our community. There is record-breaking need right now, and it will take all of us working together – through donating, volunteering, and advocating for positive change – to end food insecurity.
You can also watch and share this brief video that explains how the emergency food system in Polk County works. Please keep in mind that this video was created last year and does not reflect the changes we’ve recently seen in regard to Food Bank of Iowa and the DMARC Food Pantry Network.
Still have questions?
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.