Founded in 1952, DMARC leads interfaith dialogue and cooperation, responds to meet basic human needs and is at the forefront of community action and advocacy in Greater Des Moines for nearly six decades.
From its formative years as a Protestant-based organization, DMARC grew to include over 130 member congregations of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Unitarian faiths representing nearly 70,000 congregants. DMARC also welcomes and engages with followers of Baha’i, Buddhist and Native American faith traditions.
Presently, more than 34,000 people annually are served through the DMARC Food Pantry Network, Compassion in Action, Childcare Assistance, and Interfaith Engagement programs.
The work of DMARC continues through the generosity of DMARC members and other faith congregations, as well as countless individuals, businesses, civic organizations and groups from public, private and non-profit sectors.
January 1, 2013
Two AwardsRecognized by the United Way of Central Iowa for the 2012 LIVE UNITED Advocacy Award and by the Iowa Medical Society for the 2013 Washington Freeman Peck Award.
January 1, 2011
Aurora AwardRecognized by The Des Moines Register as the 2010 Aurora Award recipient.
January 1, 2010
By-Laws RestatedRestated by-laws to bring organization into alignment with Iowa Principles and Practices of Charitable Non-Profit Excellence. Also, established as the largest networked food pantry system in Iowa.
January 1, 2009
Move the FoodLaunches the Move the Food initiative to engage the whole community in building a systematic community model to end hunger and improve health in Polk County. Changed the content of Food Pantry Network boxes to healthy food/fresh fruits and vegetables. Food Pantry Network client base grew by 60% in response to economic recession.
January 1, 2006
First Muslim CongregationReceives into membership the first Muslim congregation, Muslim Community Organization.
January 1, 2001
Event OrganizingOrganized community-wide events to respond to anti-Semitism and terrorism.
January 1, 1990
Red Barrel ProgramEstablished the Red Barrel program in most Des Moines area food stores.
January 1, 1988
Foundation EstablishedEstablished the Des Moines Area Religious Council Foundation.
January 1, 1981
LADOSEstablished a widowed persons program, LADOS (Life After Death of Spouse).
January 1, 1979
First Jewish CongregationReceives into membership the first Jewish congregation, Tifereth Israel Synagogue.
February 7, 1978
Hospice of Central IowaCo-sponsored with the Information and Referral Services of the United Way of Central Iowa, discussions on forming a hospice organization. Led to HCI Care Services (formerly Hospice of Central Iowa).
January 1, 1978
Compassion in ActionEstablished Compassion in Action as a cooperative effort with the Information and Referral Center of the United Way to “more effectively meet the needs of transients and other strangers coming to churches with stories of need.” Also, started the Childcare Assistance program.
May 10, 1976
Food Pantry Network
Emergency Food Pantry program established as Food Pantry Network.
August 29, 1972
Des Moines Area Religious Council
Organization becomes Des Moines Area Religious Council, welcoming non-Christian congregations.
June 1, 1968
Homes of Oakridge
Sponsored the Homes of Oakridge Housing project.
January 1, 1952
The Des Moines Area Council of Churches Founded
Chartered as the Des Moines Area Council of Churches, out of the world-wide movement of faith communities in the wake of WWI & WWII.
- Provide an interdenominational agency for cooperation
- Study the religious needs of the community
- Promote the spiritual, moral, social and civic welfare of the community