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 ...

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Commemorating 45 Years of the DMARC Food Pantry Network

We have grown to occupy 9,000 square feet of warehouse space with pallet racking and walk-in coolers and freezers, employ a staff of 17 people, manage a fleet of six vehicles, and assist over 58,000 unique individuals on an annual basis. Whenever our community has faced a crisis, DMARC has stayed flexible and risen to the challenge to provide food in innovative new ways, from the gas crisis of the 1980's, to the flood of 1993, to the Great Recession, and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. Food insecurity does not only exist during these crises, however, and we have ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Recovering Food for All in Need

DMARC has a plethora of ways to get food for our mobile and partner food pantries. While we do distribute food that is donated to us by individuals, most of our food is purchased with donated funds. As a matter of fact, we can stretch a dollar significantly further, when it comes to purchasing food items, than an individual purchasing food at the grocery store. This is not to say that we don’t appreciate food donations, but rather that monetary donations go much further. One way we receive food items that isn’t as well known is through our food recovery program. ...

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Different Users, Same Results

Near the end of 2017, the food pantry at West Des Moines Human Services implemented a new "food pantry 2.0" system. Rather than a set number of food items families may receive per month, pantry visitors at West Des Moines Human Services are given a number of points to spend on their items. Healthy food choices are given lower point values, providing the opportunity for people to get more food if they select healthier options. The new system also allows visitors to come multiple times throughout the month to use their pantry points. Jenn Danielson, Vicky Arroyo, Dawt ...

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Lasting Impacts from the Government Shutdown

Last Friday, the longest government shutdown in US history finally came to an end. But there are still some lasting impacts for the DMARC Food Pantry Network. As a result of the shutdown, the USDA directed states to send out February's SNAP benefits early, no later than January 20. In Iowa, February's SNAP benefits were distributed on January 17. DMARC will likely see less food pantry use at the end of January, as SNAP participants have benefits to spend on groceries. However, as we move later in to February, we expect more people will turn to the DMARC Food Pantry ...

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DMARC Mobile Food Pantry Launches Four New Sites

Next week, the DMARC Mobile Food Pantry will visit four new mobile pantry partner locations throughout Greater Des Moines. Times and locations for the new DMARC Mobile Food Pantry sites are as follows: Beginning Monday, January 21, the DMARC Mobile Food Pantry will visit Park View Village, 1900 SE 28th Street, Grimes, IA 50111, every first and third Monday of the month from 4-6pm. Beginning Tuesday, January 22, the DMARC Mobile Food Pantry will visit Our Lady of the Americas Catholic Parish, 1271 E 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50316, every second and fourth Tuesday ...

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Mobilizing to Meet the Need

This article originally appeared in the Nov/Dec/Jan 2018-19 issue of The Voice. On Wednesday, October 3, The Partnership for a Hunger Free Polk County dedicated two new mobile food pantries at the Ellis I. Levitt Boys & Girls Club at Carver Elementary in Des Moines. The two new mobile food pantries were made possible thanks to the generosity of Gregory and Suzie Glazer Burt, Charlotte and Fred Hubbell, Variety-the Children's Charity, and The Partnership for a Hunger Free Polk County. The additional mobile food pantries will allow DMARC to reach more locations at a ...

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