Johnston Chopped a Huge Success!
The Johnston Partnership's Johnston Chopped event was held at Hyperion Field Club on February 25th.   Three chefs, Joe McConville from Gusto Pizza, Cyd Koehn of Cyd's Catering and Joe Cross from Goodwill's Smilin' G Cafe competed by creating culinary creations using mystery ingredients similar to those found in our Johnston DMARC Food Pantry. This year's mystery basket had pork chops, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and frosted flakes in it! 


The Dishes were judged by celebrity judges Troy Trostel,  executive chef of Trostel's Greenbriar, Johnston Chief of Police Dennis McDaniel and Des Moines Register Food Critic Brian Taylor Carlson. One guest judge, Tom Leffler, was chosen from the crowd. 

CONGRATS to Chef Joe McConville  who came away with the grand prize, but all of the chefs did an amazing job! It was a close race with only 2 points separating the competitors. 

The event also included a silent auction, wine pull and entertainment by the Johnston High School Brass Quintet directed by Jason Heeren.   The Johnston Partnership wants to thank all of the guests who attended and helped Chop Hunger in Johnston.  The event raised over $15,000! Proceeds will help fund our DMARC Food Pantry, Clothes Closet, Friday Friends and JUMP Mentoring program as well as many other services we provide to the Johnston community and school district.

We look forward to seeing you at Johnston Chopped next year! 


Goodbye to Morgan
Special thanks to our superstar intern, Morgan Foldes, who just completed her internship with us. Her help in making Johnston Chopped happen was invaluable. We could not have put on such a successful event without her! Morgan certainly lived up to her name the "Morganizer." We wish her all the best as she heads off to her next adventure in Spain! 

Johnston Tough
It's been a tough winter, but our mayor is tougher! Mayor Paula Dierenfeld is 474 miles into her journey of running 580 miles after Johnston responded in a tremendous way to her food pantry challenge. She is well on track to finish the challenge by St. Patrick’s Day, which is Sunday, March 17 as she only has 106 more miles to go! Keep it up Mayor Dierenfeld!

Volunteer Highlight

Sheila Maddock came to Johnston 30 years ago from England to work as a plant researcher for Pioneer and stayed.  She started volunteering at our DMARC Food Pantry about 10 years ago when it was at Crown Point and now is one of our “go to” volunteers.  “Go to” meaning someone who comes regularly, can instantly see what needs to be done and just takes care of it.


Sheila now works as a biotechnology consultant and sets her own schedule.  Most Tuesday and Thursdays she comes to the pantry on her lunch hour (or sometimes lunch two hours) and gets things organized for the next time the pantry is open.  She also frequently helps out on Saturdays by doing intake on the computer and is a mentor in the JUMP program.
Mentoring with the Partnership’s  JUMP program has been an important commitment for Sheila the last eleven years.  She started with her first mentee when she was in 6th grade and they stayed together until she graduated from high school.  She had two other mentees for a year each, until they moved out of the school district.  She is now in her second year with her current mentee, who is a sophomore.
If a week or two goes by when you don’t see Sheila at the pantry it usually means she is back visiting friends and family in England.  Sheila says Des Moines is big enough and has plenty to do and Johnston is small enough to get involved.  Working with others at the Food Pantry has helped her get involved so far from home.
Sheila has noticed the increase in the traffic at our pantry.  She says there are several reasons this might be:

  • Cost of living increasing more than wages
  • More people are finding the pantry (we are still hard for first timers to find)
  • Clients like the friendly, kind people at the pantry

When asked, if she could wave a magic wand and give the pantry anything, Sheila mentioned, “a more private place to ask confidential intake questions, more space, entrance/exit layout and a bell on the door.” 
We are fortunate as a community to have so many individuals and businesses who are generous in donating to the pantry, which really allows us to stretch our 'food dollars' and serve more clients.  Just one reminder to those donating, “please make sure that food items have not expired and that clothing is clean and undamaged."



Stats for the Month of February

    February of 2019  
Families Served 255
Individuals Served 1,441
Friday Friends/Dragon Power Bags 1,056 bags
Clothing Distributed 2,339
Volunteer Hours 391
Donations $23,356

Partnership Place

(5870 Merle Hay Rd, Suite D)
Tuesdays 9am - Noon
Thursdays 9am-Noon
Saturdays 10am-2pm

Closed holidays and holiday weekends
Donate anytime we are open

Partnership Staff:
  • Andrea Cook (Program Director)
  • Chris Wilson (Jump Project Coordinator)
Board Members:
  • Chris Higdon (President)
  • Tom Foldes (Pres-Elect)
  • Kathy Nichols (Treasurer)
  • Lauren Steenhoek (Secretary)
  • Amy Johnson
  • Barb Allen
  • LuAnn White
  • Judy Anderson
  • Paul Williams
  • Peggy Martin
  • Susan Lucas
Copyright © 2019 Johnston Partnership for a Healthy Community, All rights reserved.

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