132 results for author: lelzinga


Competitive Drives Are a Touchdown for DMARC

Fall is in the air, and so is the spirit of friendly competition! Earlier this month, a dozen companies and organizations hosted competitive drives for the DMARC Food Pantry Network (including our staff here at DMARC). Some gave online through a virtual food drive, others held traditional drives, bringing in food items, diapers, personal care items, and period supplies. Many companies incorporated a fund or food drive into other tailgating activities, and got creative with prizes for the winning teams and punishments for the losing teams. At DMARC, we hosted a chili cook off lunch with our staff (Linda Vander Hart's chili won). At Lincoln Savings ...

Staff Spotlight: John McPhee

If you've dropped off a food donation or volunteered at DMARC in the past year, there's a good chance you met John McPhee. As Warehouse Manager, John is responsible for managing warehouse inventory, operations and directing volunteer groups. John makes sure that everything in our warehouse runs smoothly and in an orderly fashion. John graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Technical Education- Adult Learning. In John’s free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, traveling to state parks and watching sports. What drew you to DMARC originally, and how has it changed since then? I was in the middle of a career ...

Des Moines Area Hy-Vee Stores Donate Over $42,000 to DMARC Food Pantry Network

On Friday, September 9, 2019, Des Moines area Hy-Vee store directors stopped by DMARC's warehouse to present a donation of $42,940.28 to the DMARC Food Pantry Network. The stores participated in a companywide campaign earlier this year called "Feed the Need" to help replenish local food banks and pantries across Hy-Vee's eight-state region. Hy-Vee organized the effort when it became aware of the ongoing demand for products and supplies at food banks and pantries throughout the year, especially during non-holiday times of the year. Customers participated by simply "rounding up" their purchases to the next dollar — or a desired dollar amount — at ...

Global Atlantic Financial Group Makes Big Impact Through Virtual Drive

Earlier this month, Global Atlantic Financial Group hosted a virtual drive for DMARC focused on raising funds to purchase diapers, wipes, infant formula, baby food, and period supplies. The drive was spearheaded by Global Atlantic Financial Group's Women's Network. One of the objectives of the Women's Network is to sponsor community outreach activities. “Most state and federal safety-net program benefits cannot be used to purchase period supplies, leaving 1 in 4 menstruating people struggling to meet this basic need due to lack of income and 1 in 5 missing work or school due to lack of access." "As a Life Insurance company, focusing on basic ...

DMARC Statement on “Public Charge” Final Rule

The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) strongly opposes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s final rule, “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.” We believe the “public charge” rule will negatively impact the health and nutrition of children and families in Iowa and throughout the nation. Last year, DMARC submitted a public comment opposing the proposed “public charge” rule, and encouraged our supporters to do the same. Over 266,000 public comments were received by DHS, the majority of them in opposition to the “public charge” rule. The final rule is scheduled to go into effect on October 15, 2019. As is many ...

DMARC Statement on Proposed USDA Rule Change to Broad-based Categorical Eligibility

The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) strongly opposes the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s proposed rule change that would significantly roll back broad-based categorical eligibility (BBCE) for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Iowa is one of 42 states and jurisdictions that utilizes broad-based categorical eligibility to effectively increase the threshold for SNAP benefits up from the federal income limit of 130% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Thanks to broad-based categorical eligibility, the gross income limit for SNAP eligibility in Iowa is 160% FPL ($19,984 annual income for an individual or ...

Staff Spotlight: Matt Unger

Here at DMARC, we're all about making connections between people. As an interfaith organization, we bring a wide variety of people together to meet basic human needs for our community. We know that by coming together and building relationships with one another, we can accomplish great things. And that's why we'd like you to get to know our staff on a more personal level. This is the first in a series of staff spotlights of DMARC's team. We thought we'd start with our new CEO, Matt Unger, so you can get to know him a little better. Matt joined DMARC as CEO in July 2019, and recently completed a 6+ year stretch at the Food Bank of Iowa. Starting ...

DMARC Food Pantry Network Assists 20,000+ in July

The DMARC Food Pantry Network assisted 20,156 individuals in the month of July 2019, an increase of 13.8% compared to July of last year. This past July was the third highest overall month of pantry use in the DMARC Food Pantry Network's 43-year history, behind November 2017 (21,108 individuals) and November 2018 (20,880 individuals). July also had the distinction of being the first month that was not a November where DMARC assisted over 20,000 individuals. While there are a number of factors that may have impacted the amount of food pantry use we saw in July (continued trade uncertainty, a report that some Iowans did not receive their SNAP ...

Three Questions to Ask Candidates Running for Office

As Iowans, we have some unique opportunities to engage and interact with candidates running for a number of elected offices, including presidential candidates visiting the state ahead of the Iowa caucuses in February 2020. DMARC has prepared a list below of three questions that you can ask candidates running for office. The following questions are framed toward those running for a federal office, but can be slightly changed depending on who you are asking the question of (ex. "What is your plan to eliminate poverty in the state of Iowa?"). Will you commit to protecting and/or expanding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)? What ...

DMARC Awarded Prairie Meadows Community Betterment Grant

The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) Food Pantry Network recently received a Prairie Meadows Community Betterment Grant of $10,000. The grant will allow DMARC to provide the equivalent of 20,000 nutritious meals for central Iowans living with food insecurity. The grant will ensure that pantry visitors have access to fruits, vegetables, frozen meats, low-fat, low-sodium, low-sugar and other healthy foods. DMARC thanks Prairie Meadows for their continued partnership in the fight against food insecurity in Greater Des Moines.