The faces behind a record year
On a particularly sunny afternoon, Heather N. walks into the Urbandale Food Pantry with her son. It’s the beginning of the month and with the holidays right around the corner, she is excited to shop for some items that will fill the table when she hosts Thanksgiving dinner.
“Our family has been coming here for quite a few years but recently we’ve been here more often. We couldn’t make it through the month without this service and we appreciate it so much,” Heather said. “Everything has gone up so much. Our property taxes went up $160/month. This extra food makes all the difference for us.”
She and her husband have five children and seven grandchildren. She is thankful to be able to spend most of her time as a full-time caretaker for her kids and her mother… but the work can be difficult.
On a particularly sunny afternoon, Heather N. walks into the Urbandale Food Pantry with her son. It’s the beginning of the month and with the holidays right around the corner, she is excited to shop for some items that will fill the table when she hosts Thanksgiving dinner. “When you come in here the people […]
Debra G. pulls up to the Families First – Bidwell Pantry on one of the first bitter cold days of the fall. She is grateful that today is a good day for her health, but getting to the pantry isn’t always realistic. I’ve had five major surgeries. I wasn’t supposed to take a step in […]
Rebeka S. appreciates the option for mobile and permanent pantries. She’s used both as a resource to help handicapped relatives and grab food while being unhoused in the winter months. “We’re stressed out and hungry. We’re kind of getting what we can, where we can, without bothering anyone… because it’s real cold. I’m looking for […]
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, business came to a halt for the handyman business that she and her husband operated. He went to work as a forklift operator and she found her time spread even more thin. After her father’s unexpected passing in a car accident, her mother came to live with them.
The Urbandale Food Pantry has been a safe haven for her family in navigating life’s challenges and the dignified experience of shopping for your own food is a small but important victory.
“When you come in here the people are so friendly. They don’t treat you like you are less than, they treat you like they’re glad you are here. It takes a lot of courage to ask for help and it takes courage to share your story. It is humbling to say I need your help and I can’t do this without you… but that’s what I’m saying. I couldn’t do it without you.”
As the DMARC Food Pantry Network nears the end of what will be the busiest year on record, a staggering 53,000+ people have been assisted so far through the end of September. About 1 in 3 of these individuals are utilizing a DMARC Pantry for the first time. For those like Heather, and new visitors especially, feeling welcome can be the difference in making the trip or not.
As the need grows, so does the frequency
Debra G. pulls up to the Families First – Bidwell Pantry on one of the first bitter cold days of the fall. She is grateful that today is a good day for her health, but
getting to the pantry isn’t always realistic. Debra was born prematurely in the 1960’s and wasn’t supposed to survive more than a couple weeks. She has had five major surgeries and her mobility issues were complicated even further by a major car accident in the 1990’s. She appreciates the ease of access the DMARC food delivery service provides on days when getting to a pantry is especially difficult.
Debra, like many folks, finds herself visiting a pantry more frequently now after retiring last year.
This increased need is a growing reality for many this year. So far in 2023, 20% of everyone who has utilized a DMARC Pantry has gone more than once a month. Nevertheless, Debra is hopeful for the future and insists that the pantry is an “essential” service in the communities for people like herself.