169 results for author: lelzinga


DMARC and Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa Relaunch Refuel Station

The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) and Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa (BGCCI) are relaunching the “Refuel Station” this week, a mobile food pantry specifically designed to cater to children. The Refuel Station was originally launched in April 2019, but operations were suspended in spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are grateful for our partnership with DMARC, which allows us to continue meeting the critical needs of our Club members and their families,” said BGCCI Chief Executive Officer Tony Timm. “We look forward to seeing the Refuel Station back at our Club sites across the metro.” The Refuel Station is ...

Volunteer Spotlight: Connie Richards

As an effort to better acknowledge all the hard work our dedicated volunteers put in to help us meet our mission, DMARC is spotlighting their hard work! This month, we're recognizing Connie Richards for her help volunteering with our Red Barrel Program and Mobile Food Pantry! Why do you volunteer with DMARC? To tell you the truth I don't have the money to donate but I can donate my time and it doesn't hurt my soul to do it. I enjoy it! How long have you been volunteering with DMARC? Since 2013, I started with the Red Barrel Program and also helped out with the mobile pantry (Canterbury Heights). I have volunteered with the Red Barrel ...

Staff Spotlight: Daniel Beck

Daniel Beck is the Data, Analytics, and Program Coordinator at DMARC. Daniel joined DMARC during the spring/summer of 2010, initially as a volunteer assisting with some construction in the former warehouse, and was hired as staff later in the summer that same year. Daniel’s role within DMARC has been ever-evolving as the organization itself evolves and expands its reach and impact on the community. Daniel has an educational background in nutrition and exercise science, and worked in this field as a nutrition advisor and personal trainer while attending Northwest Mississippi Community College and University of Mississippi. He began work with DMARC ...

Introducing DMARC’s Nutrition Advisory Committee

by Linda Gobberdiel, MA RD LD We are currently in the middle of National Nutrition Month and what a great time to introduce DMARC’s Nutrition Advisory Committee! This relatively new group focuses on nutrition-related projects for DMARC and their food pantries. Back in 2019, DMARC staff saw the need for having nutrition professionals available on a more continuous basis to help meet commitments in DMARC’s relationship with Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA). Dietitians’ knowledge and expertise were needed to maximize nutrition in their food pantry inventory. There was also a need for simple recipes to be developed for pantry client...

Partner Profile: Urbandale Food Pantry

While all partner food pantries in the DMARC Food Pantry Network have made adaptations during the pandemic, Urbandale Food Pantry has been especially innovative in its approach to limit the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to provide food to people facing hunger and food insecurity in our community. To limit physical interactions at the food pantry, visitors place their monthly order for food in an enclosed booth they enter from the exterior of the building. Daily food rescue items are available at another door, where pantry visitors may enter one at a time. The food pantry also incorporates social distancing, a mask policy, sanitizing, and ...

Underscoring the Importance of Interfaith Efforts

On February 8, DMARC’s Coordinator of Interfaith Engagement and state senator, Rev. Sarah Trone Garriott, shared a prayer in the Iowa Senate written by a young Muslim woman who was a previous participant of the Interfaith Youth Leadership Camp, a week-long event DMARC co-hosts every summer with the Comparison Project at Drake University. Unfortunately, the response to this prayer has not all been positive. It seems some people in our state still react with anger and fear when they come in contact with a faith that is not their own. The negative responses to this prayer underscore the importance of our interfaith efforts. At DMARC, we ...

DMARC Food Pantry Network Resumes Distribution of USDA Food Boxes

The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) Food Pantry Network began distributing USDA boxes from the fifth round of the USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program today. DMARC previously participated in the first four rounds of the program from late May to the end of December 2020. Additional funding for the fifth round of the program was included in the federal COVID relief package that passed in late December. “We are excited to again be participating in the USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program,” said DMARC CEO Matt Unger. “Visitors to DMARC food pantries started receiving these boxes today.” The boxes contain 20 lbs. ...

Partner Profile: Johnston Partnership Place

This year, the Johnston Partnership will celebrate their 20th anniversary as a nonprofit organization. But it was only a few months ago that the organization moved into building space that was specifically designed for their needs. The new space, which officially opened on September 29, 2020, is almost exactly twice as large as the previous space, with two doors to the outside rather than one. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors to the food pantry at Johnston Partnership Place place food orders from outside the building. The food pantry is also delivering food pantry orders to people who can’t safely make it out of their home. Johnston ...

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 ...