A Message from Matt

Our work at DMARC has always been collaborative in nature. But this past fiscal year showed us just how important it is for us to work together to meet basic human needs in our community. We deepened our existing partnerships and forged new ones, and our supporters rose to the occasion through generous gifts of funds, food, and time.

We thank you for your continued support of DMARC and the people we assist. We couldn’t do what we do without you.

Matt Unger
Chief Executive Officer

Food Pantry Network

DMARC commemorated the 45th anniversary of the Food Pantry Network in May 2021. What began in a church basement has grown to become the largest food pantry network in the state of Iowa. These past 45 years have seen their fair share of challenges, but with your help, the DMARC Food Pantry Network has been there to meet the needs of people facing hunger and food insecurity in Greater Des Moines.

The DMARC Food Pantry Network consists of:

  • 14 partner food pantries
  • 30+ mobile food pantry locations
  • a no-contact home delivery service
  • Refuel Station stops at all eight Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa club sites
  • two food warehouses
  • numerous community partners

Focusing on Fresh, Healthy Food

DMARC is committed to providing healthy food to people assisted by the Food Pantry Network, with a focus on fresh produce and healthier options of non-perishable goods.

DMARC’s Nutrition Advisory Committee works with registered dieticians to develop nutrition education materials and healthy recipes using ingredients available at food pantries.

Nutrition is key to health and to prevent the development of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Food can be as impactful as medicine. The position of DMARC leadership and staff in making nutrition a priority is forward-thinking and beneficial to all who use DMARC’s services.
-Linda Gobberdiel, Chair, Nutrition Advisory Committee

Food Prices Continue to Increase

Since the pandemic began, DMARC has experienced significant increases to food costs and supply chain issues resulting in delayed or even at times cancelled orders. These higher food prices are likely to continue well into 2022.

I just want to say thank you so very much for what you have done supplying fruits and vegetables. Everything was just excellent—so high-quality, fresh, and delicious! Last week, we were able to get a box for my mother who had been without power all week, and she was so thankful and excited.

USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program

From late May 2020 through April 2021, DMARC distributed around 1,600 food boxes every week thanks to the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program. DMARC distributed the 20-pound boxes throughout the Food Pantry Network, as well as at public drive-thru giveaways at Southridge Mall from May-August 2020.

United to Meet the Need

Volunteers make our work possible by:

  • assisting at mobile food pantry sites and providing no-contact home delivieries
  • hosting food drives and collecting donations from Red Barrels at local grocery stores
  • serving on committees and offering their expertise to further DMARC’s mission
  • planning, promoting, and assisting at special events, including our annual signature event, Spring Greens

In FY21, DMARC assisted:

total unique individuals

first-time pantry visitors

21 ZIP codes in Greater Des Moines had 250+ residents use the DMARC Food Pantry Network in FY21.

Interfaith Engagement

We can do so much more together than we can on our own, which is why DMARC is committed to helping our faith communities learn about one another and build interfaith relationships.

How exactly did we do this in FY21?

  • co-hosted our 5th annual Interfaith Youth Leadership Camp with The Comparison Project at Drake University—we had 21 youth participate in 2021
  • facilitated interfaith panels and presentations via zoom for audiences around the globe and right here in central Iowa
  • brought together faith leaders and communities across the religious spectrum

Watch stories from this year’s camp and learn more about Interfaith Youth Leadership Camp: iowainterfaithexchange.com

Advocacy & Education

During the 2021 Iowa legislative session, DMARC:

  • successfully advocated for an exemption from the Iowa state sales tax for nonprofit food banks, pantries, and other organizations fighting hunger
  • defended against proposed changes to the Food Assistance (SNAP) program that would have created barriers in accessing benefits

DMARC works to shorten the line at food pantries by advocating for effective policies that will reduce food insecurity, address root causes of poverty, and improve the lives of the people of Iowa.

This past year, DMARC also:

  • formed a staff Equity & Inclusion Committee to ensure our organization is contributing to a more equitable community in all that we do
  • held our first Storytellers Roundtable on Hunger and Food Insecurity
  • hosted virtual hunger simulations online
  • produced our first-ever report on racial disparities among people assisted by the DMARC Food Pantry Network


Program Services Expenses

Food Pantry Network $4,949,694 87%
Advocacy and Education $74,320 1%
Interfaith Engagement $42,508 1%
Other Programs $3,494 >1%

Supporting Services Expenses

Fundraising $348,968 6%
Administrative $264,701 5%
Total Expenses $5,683,685

Sources of Support

In-Kind Contributions $3,566,346 45%
Individuals $2,007,199 25%
Organizations/Groups $815,825 10%
Congregations $591,432 7%
Grants $491,763 6%
Planned Gifts/Investments $210,993 3%
Forgiveness of PPP Loan $161,927 2%
Events/Miscellaneous $152,439 2%
Total Support $7,998,924
Total Net Assets $6,899,464


Matt Unger
Chief Executive Officer
Leslie L. Garman, CFRE
Director of Development & Outreach
Rebecca Whitlow
Food Pantry Network Director
Daniel Beck
Monica Curl
Joe Dolack
Luke Elzinga
Andrew Firestine
Chris Haugen
Nisha Kishor
Pamphile “Phil” Kiwayiele
Carrie La Rue
John McPhee
Patrick Minor
Michael Sirois
Rev. Sarah Trone Garriott
Ken Witmer

Board of Directors, FY22

Christ Naumann
Denise Bubeck
President Elect
Ihsan Yaseen
Randy Jensen
Matt Durham
Past President
Luai Amro
Tom Chapman
Thomas Cross
Lisa Logan
Rachel Collier Murdock
Rev. Rachel Thorson Mithelman
Stuart Oxer
Rev. Ryan Russell
Matthew Strawn
Emily Webb
Ron Beane(Advisory)