185 results for author: lelzinga


DMARC Launches New Mobile Food Pantry Site at Merle Hay Mall

DMARC is launching a new mobile food pantry site at Merle Hay Mall, starting Tuesday, August 3. The mobile food pantry will be on-location at the Merle Hay Applebee’s south parking lot every Tuesday evening from 4:00-6:00pm in conjunction with Applebee’s “Together We Care Tuesdays.” This new mobile food pantry site is the result of a collaboration between DMARC, the City of Des Moines, Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART), and Merle Hay Road Applebee’s. “DMARC is grateful for the collaborative effort between numerous partners that made this possible,” said DMARC CEO Matt Unger. “We are excited to expand ...

Get to Know Phil Kiwayiele

Pamphile (Phil) Kiwayiele recently joined DMARC's staff as the Accounting/Office Administrator. Before joining DMARC, Phil worked as a staff accountant at various companies, preparing and processing accounting journal entries, data analysis, budget preparation, financial reporting, preparing monthly ledger account reconciliations, managing accounts payable and receivable, and other accounting tasks. Phil was born and raised in Brazzaville, Congo, before travelling to France for studies at the University of Aix-Marseille II, where he obtained his Master's degree in International Economics. His dream was to complete a Master's degree in Business ...

UNITS of Central Iowa Challenges Cubs Fans to Fill Storage UNIT with Cereal for DMARC

UNITS of Central Iowa is celebrating their grand opening by hosting a food and fund drive for the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) Food Pantry Network at the Iowa Cubs game on Saturday, July 10. Fans are challenged to fill a storage UNIT that will be on-site with cereal for the DMARC Food Pantry Network. With each donation of cereal or cash contribution, participants will be entered to win a $500 travel voucher courtesy of The Travel Center, LTD. DMARC is encouraging donations of whole grain, low sugar cereal. “Local baseball fans are excited we can finally pack the stadium at Principal Park again this summer after a year of social ...

Celebrating Our Differences

At DMARC, we have a mission of working together to meet basic human needs for the greater Des Moines community - and that includes everyone. As we celebrate Pride this month, we celebrate our LGBTQ+ community and recognize the unique hardships faced by the queer community in meeting basic human needs. According to the Trevor Project’s National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health 2021: 30% of all LGBTQ+ youth experienced food insecurity in the past month, including half of all Native/Indigenous LGBTQ+ youth. Only 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ youth found their home to be LGBTQ-affirming. 42% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past ...

DMARC Honors the Life of Harold Varce

Rev. Harold A. Varce, former Executive Director of the Des Moines Area Religious Council, passed away on June 8 at the age of 96. Varce served as DMARC’s Executive Director from June 1973 to December 1989. Under his leadership, DMARC established its Food Pantry Network (originally known as the Emergency Food Pantry), the Compassion in Action program, Hospice of Central Iowa, the January Thaw interfaith educational series, Life After Death of Spouse (LADOS), and numerous other programs and initiatives. DMARC also transitioned from an ecumenical organization to an interfaith organization during his tenure, welcoming DMARC’s first Jewish congre...

Making DMARC a More Equitable Organization

by Matt Unger, Chief Executive Officer At DMARC, one of the foundational pillars of our Food Pantry Network is equitable access to food. We believe that if you need food, you should be able to get the same kind of food, the same quality, and the same amount, no matter where you live in the metropolitan area. By fundraising throughout the metro and by being able to move food around the area, DMARC is able to ensure that people living in lower-income areas have the same access to good food as do people living in wealthier areas. But the murder of George Floyd last summer and the ensuing calls for racial justice on a systemic level prompted DMARC ...

DMARC Receives $5,000 Grant from Bayer Fund

The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) announced today it received a grant for $5,000 from Bayer Fund, which will be used to support the DMARC Food Pantry Network and general operations. “DMARC is grateful to receive this support from Bayer Fund,” said DMARC Director of Development & Outreach Leslie Garman. “This donation will be used efficiently and effectively in the fight against food insecurity right here in Greater Des Moines.” This grant will not only provide support to our organization, but also the community we serve by allowing us to purchase and distribute healthy food to people experiencing hunger and food insecurity ...

DMARC Statement on the Anniversary of George Floyd’s Death

Today marks one year since George Floyd was murdered. In the days and months that followed his tragic death, our nation, state, and local community have seen some of the largest protests and calls for racial justice in decades, demanding action and systemic change. Individuals and organizations across the country are finally reckoning with the racism that has afflicted our country since its founding - racism that has held a pervasive grip on our society even to this day. At DMARC, we have been taking a hard look at our internal and external practices and asking ourselves if we are making our community a more or less equitable place through our ...

Partner Profile: Bidwell Riverside Center

Bidwell Riverside Center has been feeding people on the south side of Des Moines for 128 years, and has been at its current location at 1203 Hartford Avenue since 1948. Bidwell was an original founding partner pantry of the DMARC Food Pantry Network when it was established in 1976. “We provide the building, and the community provides everything else,” said Missy Reams, Volunteer and Community Outreach Manager at Bidwell Riverside Center. Bidwell was originally founded by United Methodist Women, and until about ten years ago, the executive director was appointed by the Methodist Conference. Although the organization changed its status to a ...

Staff Spotlight: Nisha Kishor

Nisha Kishor is the Volunteer & Outreach Manager at DMARC. Nisha grew up in Wichita, Kansas and moved to Kentucky in high school. She attended the University of Kentucky where she earned a BA in Political Science and International Studies. After school she taught English in South Korea for one year. Nisha just moved to Des Moines in August 2020 and is looking forward to meeting new people and getting to know her new home. Outside of work, she enjoys outdoor activities, cooking, and spending time at home with her husband Ashish. What drew you to DMARC originally, and how has it changed since then? I was originally drawn to DMARC because of its ...