DMARC Breaks Single-Day Record of Food Pantry Use on January 3

The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) Food Pantry Network assisted 1,614 unique individuals on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, setting a new single-day record of people assisted. The previous single-day record had been set two months prior on November 1, 2022, when 1,529 people were assisted.

“To be honest, this caught us a bit by surprise,” said DMARC CEO Matt Unger. “And while setting this record was unexpected, it’s just one more reminder that the need in our community is incredibly high right now.”

The DMARC Food Pantry Network has been experiencing heightened demand over the past nine months. A drop in SNAP benefits in April 2022, paired with increased prices for food and other household goods, has led to record-setting use at local food pantries.

In 2022, the DMARC Food Pantry Network provided assistance to 53,077 unique individuals. Nearly one in three people assisted were first-time food pantry visitors. DMARC expects that the need at food pantries will continue to climb in 2023.

“There are tens of thousands of people experiencing food insecurity in our community right now,” said Unger. “Solving hunger and food insecurity is possible, but as I have said before, it will take all of us working together – nonprofit organizations, government, and business alike.”

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