135 results for author: lelzinga


DMARC Assists Record Number of People in November

This November, the DMARC Food Pantry Network assisted 22,632 individuals, setting a new record number of people assisted in a single month by the organization. It was also the first time DMARC assisted over 9,000 households in a single month. "We were expecting November would be our largest month of pantry use ever, but it still comes as a shock," said DMARC CEO Matt Unger. "Breaking our previous monthly record by over 1,500 people is noteworthy, but not something to celebrate." The DMARC Food Pantry Network experienced an 8.4% increase in food pantry use in November, compared to November 2018. So far in 2019, DMARC has seen an 8.3% average ...

Staff Spotlight: Joe Dolack

Joe Dolack joined the DMARC team in April 2013, and as Operations Manager he oversees different programs within the DMARC Food Pantry Network. Joe helped build the Mobile Food Pantry Program from its infancy. The Mobile Food Pantry Program has more than double in size since 2016. Joe enjoys helping lead DMARC’s frontline programs. Joe attended Westwood College and Lewis University studying Criminal Justice. Joe relocated to Des Moines in 2012. While never seeing himself as an Iowan in the past Joe is now a proud transplant, with deep roots in Iowa. Joe enjoys being outside, wandering around the metro thrifting in his time off, along with ...

Staff Spotlight: Rev. Sarah Trone Garriott

The Rev. Sarah Trone Garriott joined DMARC in August 2017 as the Coordinator of Interfaith Engagement. Sarah works with the diverse faith communities of the greater Des Moines area to support the mission of DMARC, while also creating resources and opportunities to support faith communities in their work. Sarah also partners with The Comparison Project at Drake University in their efforts for interfaith awareness, dialogue, and scholarship. As an AmeriCorps VISTA working for Northern New Mexico Legal Aid in Gallup, New Mexico, Sarah engaged community and faith leaders around the issue of Domestic Violence. As a hospital chaplain in Philadelphia and ...

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 ...