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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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