GET TO KNOW DMARC
The Des Moines Area Religious Council, or DMARC, is an interfaith organization that operates a Food Pantry Network in the Des Moines area. DMARC partners with organizations across the metro area to provide them with food free of charge and manages a common database system. They operate a centralized warehouse to bring food in from donors and wholesalers and send food out to their partner pantries, such as the Johnston Partnership. DMARC and the Johnston Partnership are both partners of Food Bank of Iowa, and work together in a system where each organization plays a unique and specific role.
Currently, more than 34000 people annually are served through the DMARC Food Pantry Network and other services that they offer. The work of DMARC continues through the generosity of DMARC members and other faith congregations, as well as countless individuals, businesses, civic organizations and groups from public, private and non-profit sectors. DMARC also receives government funding through The Partnership for a Hunger-Free Polk County as well a small amount from FEMA. There are three churches in the Johnston area that belong to DMARC: First Baptist Church of Greater Des Moines, St. Paul Presbyterian Church, and St. James Lutheran Church.
DMARC has been a constant support system for the Johnston Partnership over the years. In 2017, DMARC supplied over $34,000 worth of food and other supplies to the Johnston Partnership. Out of 14 DMARC partner food pantries, Johnston Partnership Place is the 7th busiest pantry, assisting around 900 individuals every month. DMARC guarantees a three-day supply of food for every household who visits the pantry each calendar month, free of charge. Other food items are also available as AnyTime Items for pantry visitors, but those items are not guaranteed.
The Des Moines Area Religious Council is always in need of donations of healthy food, volunteers, community advocates to raise the issue of food insecurity in their communities and continued expansion of their food recovery program. Individuals can view opportunities and sign up to volunteer at DMARC at dmarcunited.org/volunteer. Should an organization wish to support DMARC’s Food Pantry Network, they are happy to share options, such as hosting a special competitive food drive (folks LOVE doing it for Iowa’s “super bowl” the Iowa-Iowa State game), supporting their signature event, or hosting a drive for a special need, such as diapers.