A Message from Matt

In the 70-plus year history of the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC), our mission has remained largely the same – working together to meet the basic human needs of our neighbors. As our organization finds itself in arguably one of its most pivotal moments, I feel incredibly lucky to find unity is at the heart of every facet of our work. As we work to address an emergency level of need in our community, your continued support has helped us rise to the occasion.


The overall volume of pantry visitors this year itself, is staggering. But the overarching theme in our pantry volume is the overwhelming amount of first time visitors – a relentless trend that has continued into our current fiscal year. In fact, in 17 of 18 consecutive most recent months we broke that month’s record for the most new individual visitors and broke the overall record a number of times.

The sad fact of the matter is that food insecurity has long since left its role as a “poverty symptom” behind and has become a symptom of a new, broader inability for everyday working folks to meet the basic costs of living. Beyond more recent inflation challenges, these costs continue to rise at a rate higher than that of salaries or incomes. We see that everyday across our food pantry network. This trend has resulted in more pantry visitors, from bigger households, and a need to visit more frequently.


The good news is, despite folks needing more and more frequent help, The DMARC network of pantries has risen to the occasion. Every day we continue to offer a dignified pantry experience, where one can count on a regular inventory of items, and access to healthy foods. This good news is made possible by the giving of time, talent, and treasure from readers like you and a giving community that cares for its citizens. This report is a snapshot of those things you’ve made possible this year.

Matt Unger
Chief Executive Officer


FY23 Annual Report | Full print Edition

View the complete print edition of the annual report. This pdf version also includes a complete list of donors
and additional insight into the DMARC Food Pantry Network.

View Print Edition



Food Pantry Network

The DMARC Food Pantry Network consists of 14 partner food pantries, multiple mobile food pantry locations, and a home delivery program. DMARC is committed to providing nutritious food and fresh fruits and vegetables to the people we assist.

People can select a three-day supply of food from any one of our partner food pantries, and AnyTime Items are available for daily visits.


Where does our food come from

Stories of Impact

The busiest 12 month period on record has forced our team to innovate as the price of food has created challenges.

“”Previously we never could’ve taken a semi-load of canned fruit or pasta in one day and that saves us quite a bit of money. We might save 5,6, or $7000 by ordering in a larger quantity.”

— Becky Whitlow, DMARC Food Pantry Network Director


Fighting for basic human rights

“It makes a difference when we show up in numbers, as people of faith, and as people who care about human dignity and thriving. I appreciate DMARC’s leadership in assisting us in living out these values and allowing our voices to be heard when it matters.”

—Lee Roorda Schott, Pastor at Valley United Methodist Church, West Des Moines


Interfaith in Action

“I became more aware of the similarities between every system of beliefs and that all are built on love… there are so many ways to worship, and all are unique and valuable.”

— Audrey Martin, Camp participant & first year student at Drake University


Because of you…


In FY23, DMARC assisted:

total unique individuals

1 in 3
we’re first time visitors

Spring Greens brought together some of our biggest supporters to help us raise over:



Thank you to every individual who left a legacy
to our community this year by bequesting a gift
to support basic needs for future generations.



donated in 2023


Through 120 food and funds drives:

food items we’re donated

additional funds were donated

Special gratitude to Polk County for the fulfillment of their pledge of $1,250,000 made to DMARC in FY 2019 ($250,000 for five consecutive years through Hunger Free Polk County). Thanks to their investment, the DMARC Food Pantry Network was able to expand its capacity allowing it to meet the growing food insecurity needs of our community.


Program Services Expenses

Food Pantry Network $4,879,346 82%
Advocacy and Education $142,645 2%
Interfaith Engagement $62,415 1%

Supporting Services Expenses

Fundraising $437,108 7%
Administrative $463,272 8%
Total Expenses $5,984,786


Total Support$4,853,167

Sources of Support

Individuals $1,510,636 19%
In-Kind Contributions $2,156,691 27%
Grants $1,590,815 20%
Congregations $592,224 8%
Organizations/Groups $318,353 4%
Events/Miscellaneous $179,437 2%
Planned Giving $71,187 1%
Miscellaneous $63,677 <1%
Gain on sale of property $1,288,401 16%
investments $104,843 1%
Total Support* $7,876,264
Total Net Assets $9,659,737

*In FY23, $153,621 of collections were made against the ‘Feed Today, Change Tomorrow’ Capital Campaign.


Matt Unger
Chief Executive Officer
Leslie L. Garman, CFRE
Director of Development & Outreach
Rebecca Whitlow
Food Pantry Network Director
Daniel Beck
Meronica Breedlove/strong>
Michelle Chumbley
Monica Curl
Jeffrey Czerwiec
Joe Dolack
Max Douglass
Luke Elzinga
Kelly Erickson
Carl Evans
Andrew Firestine
Wade Johnson
Sarah McCrory
Dennis Minarich
Patrick Minor
Amanda Parkins
Rev. Sarah Trone Garriott
Blake Willadsen

Board of Directors

Lisa Logan
Rachel Collier Murdock
President Elect
Rev. Rachel Mithelman
Shashank Aurora
Denise Bubeck
Past President
Matt Durham
Lendie R. Follett, PH.D.
Randy Jensen
Tara Kramer
Stuart Oxer
Sheila Nelson
Rev. Ryan Russell
Emily Webb
Ron Beane(Advisory)