161 results for author: lelzinga


Spreading Love and Justice Through Art

by T.K. West Originally from Madrid, Nadia Drake grew up on a farm in an area that is historically known as Sugar Valley. She then graduated from the University of Northern Iowa before making her way back to the Des Moines Metro. Today, Nadia not only works for the Des Moines Public School District but also started her own business, Sugar Valley Stationary and Prints, in 2018. “This is my community, it is my home. There are so many exciting things happening in Des Moines, from the youth taking charge of the future of our city to all of the exciting growth happening downtown. I'm fortunate enough that Des Moines and local areas have welcomed me ...

In Loving Memory of Linda Vander Hart

Last week, DMARC lost a very important member of our family, Linda Vander Hart. Linda was the Office Administrator for our team for more than seven years, but that “title” falls woefully short in describing how much Linda did for DMARC. She very much was the glue that held everything together. To say she will be missed could not be more understated. Linda was a true believer in our mission and dedicated to those food insecure individuals and families our food pantry network assists. She would go out of her way to connect callers with the kind of assistance they needed – often times connecting them with other organizations. And she worked ...

Support Our Work through the DMARC Holiday Sale

This Holiday season donate and shop all in one place! Whether buying a gift for a loved one or yourself do it with DMARC's Holiday sale. Your support of the event will help close the gap between hunger and food security in Greater Des Moines, helping to do more than just fill "bellies" but to provide healthy and nutritious food that nourishes both body and mind of those in need, contributing toward the educational achievement, public health, economic productivity, and overall quality of life of our community. Thank you to the local stores for donating these items to help fight hunger in the greater Des Moines area! Don't see anything you ...

Partner Profile: Catholic Charities Food Pantry

Catholic Charities Food Pantry 1815 Hubbell Avenue Des Moines, IA 50316 (515) 262-7290 Website Hours of Operation Monday-Thursday: 10:00am – 3:30pm Friday: 9:30am – 11:30am Catholic Charities, Diocese of Des Moines has been providing food service to the greater Des Moines community for a long time. Prior to the establishment of Catholic Charities Food Pantry (originally named St. Mary Family Center) in 1993, Catholic Charities operated a food pantry out of a closet in their administrative office. From their building at 1815 Hubbell Avenue, Catholic Charities Food Pantry provides food to the community in two different ways: a ...

DMARC Distributes 6,000 Thanksgiving Meals Donated by Hy-Vee

The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) Food Pantry Network distributed 6,000 Thanksgiving meals that were donated by Hy-Vee, Inc. On November 19, Des Moines area Hy-Vee employees packed 1,500 Thanksgiving meal packages, each containing enough food for a Thanksgiving meal for four. “The Des Moines area Hy-Vee stores are happy to make a donation of 6,000 meals to DMARC,” said Katie Popp, Regional Marketing Manager for Hy-Vee. “We know that this has been an especially difficult year for many across central Iowa and we wanted to ensure that more families can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner this year.” The Thanksgiving meal packages ...

Iowa Pork Producers Support DMARC through “Running with the Pigskins”

The "big game" between Iowa and Iowa State is one of the biggest Iowa – and DMARC traditions! As part of the fun each year, Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) encourages groups and organizations to host competitive food and fund drives in honor of the game, using the friendly rivalry as a fun way to support a great cause. But with this year’s game cancellation, DMARC sought a different way to have fun and raise funds through a new event – “Running with the Pigskins." Together with DMARC’s long-time partner, the Des Moines Public Schools agricultural program, piglets “ran” a short obstacle course, each representing some of ...

21-Day Equity Challenge Reflection: Andrea Cook

by Andrea Cook, Program Director, Johnston Partnership Place When United Way of Central Iowa announced the 21-Day Equity Challenge, I did all the things a non-profit program director should: emailed the information out to my Board members, staff and volunteers, signed up myself, fielded the questions that inevitably arose. But I was nervous. My daily work brings me face-to-face with people from many walks of life. I can guarantee I have not handled every situation correctly, but just how much was I going to dislike the reflection in the mirror I would see over this month? This year has thrown a lot of challenges our way, including the bright ...

Pandemic Forces Historic Sherman Hill to Go Virtual for 2020 Halloween on the Hill

Since its inception in 2010, Halloween on the Hill has grown to become Des Moines’s premier Halloween event. For a decade, residents of the historic Sherman Hill neighborhood have gone all out to decorate their homes with spooky scenes while also collecting food items for the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) Food Pantry Network. Like so many events we all love, it is sadly not safe to invite thousands of friends this year. However, the need to help those who face food insecurity in our community has never been more important. At the core of Halloween on the Hill has always been a desire to use this fun event help others. "This year, ...

21-Day Equity Challenge Reflection: Amy Becker

by Amy Becker, Team Pastor, Ashworth Church I’m grateful for the gift of United Way’s 21 Day Equity Challenge. As a pastor, a leader for college ministries around the state of Iowa, as a neighbor, and a mom, the Equity Challenge has given me tools, resources, facts and figures, and stories to share in each of these places. More importantly it’s given me eyes to see again that segregation is not a thing of the past, as I go for an evening walk in my neighborhood just blocks away from Center street—once the beloved thriving Black business district in Des Moines. It’s given me ears to hear stories, like the young women from Davenport, ...

21-Day Equity Challenge Reflection: Luke Elzinga

by Luke Elzinga, Communications & Advocacy Manager, DMARC Three years ago, my partner and I became homeowners, thanks in large part to an FHA first-time homebuyer loan. I feel incredibly fortunate to be a homeowner before the age of 30 - but it's not luck that has led me to this point. Our home on the south side of Des Moines lies in the C-4 section on the Des Moines Redlining Map, which gave it a rating of "Fair" when the map was created in the late 1930's. It was a working class neighborhood then and remains so to this day. Our home is nearly 100 years old, meaning it was around 12 years old when the redlining map was drawn. Last week's ...