Rising to meet the need
The past 12 months at DMARC have been remarkable and this summer looks to be more of the same…
June will mark the fourth time in 2023 when the number of unique individuals being assisted by the DMARC Food Pantry Network reaches an all-time record for that month. It will also mark 14 consecutive months where are seeing a record number of new individuals for that month.
These records are not something we look forward to as more people are struggling to meet their basic needs in our community. Why is this happening? The effects of stagnant wages, pandemic income loss, and continued inflation are forcing more Iowans to seek out food assistance who may not have before.
Fortunately, DMARC is prepared to meet the needs of our neighbors…
By expanding our warehouse space, opening a new food pantry site, and elevating the voices of those experiencing food insecurity when it matters most, we are ready to meet this need.
Last summer was our first at the newly renovated headquarters at 100 Army Post Rd. and the timing could not have been better. As prices of food, gas, and rent skyrocketed due to record inflation, the DMARC Food Pantry Network begin to see a spike in traffic. Our expanded warehouse capabilities are helping us move the food faster than ever before by…
- increasing our buying power by purchasing more items in bulk
- transforming our ability to accept large, refrigerated in-kind donations, such as produce and other fresh items
- increasing storage for all food products including culturally specific foods for refugee and immigrant
- populations that utilize the DMARC Food Pantry Network
- adding capacity to store and provide non-food items like toiletries, hygiene supplies, period supplies, and pet foods
Since opening in October 2022, The DMARC-ket Southside Food Pantry has quickly become one of the busiest food pantries in the Des Moines metro and is now the third busiest in the DMARC Food Pantry Network. The southside location is serving an area that previously lacked a food pantry of this size and is the first food pantry site that DMARC has independently owned and operated. The new pantry is growing our impact by…
- Providing another opportunity to seek food assistance five days a week with accessible hours (M-F; 9-5 p.m.)
- adding a reliable space to try new and better pieces to the pantry visitor experience
- adding more culturally specific food options
DMARC helped raise public awareness of hunger and centered the voices of people with lived experience in media interviews, subcommittee meetings, a public hearing, and press conferences throughout the legislative session. This action helped call attention to egregious food restrictions being proposed to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; formerly known as food stamps) and encourage lawmakers to pass less stringent asset testing on this program.
While this year brought many harmful changes to SNAP, the conversation could be drastically different today without the voices of the many advocates and brave individuals who shared their stories. This work will continue as we create more awareness about changes to SNAP as they take effect and advocate for more opportunities for safe, reliable, and healthy food assistance options in Iowa.