DES MOINES, Iowa -- Rebecca Whitlow, director of the Des Moines Area Religious Council Food Network Pantry says that they are serving more families than ever before.
According to Whitlow, DMARC is helping about 500 new families each month with food benefits. “This has been the busiest it has been in my two and half years here."
November was the busiest month for the pantry, since the beginning of 2012. They served 5,063 families, within their network, that month. November saw the lowest increase in usage, but was still the highest month of overall use.
The Bidwell pantry was one of busiest within their network. "It’s been overwhelming. Our number from last year have went up 45 percent,” said Laura Teachout, benefits coordinator at Bidwell.
Teachout says the biggest need within the DMARC network is meat of any kind. "The cost of meat has skyrocketed. We need frozen meat, any meat, even beef jerky would help."
“The demand for the pantries have increased but the donations have not," say Whitlow. She does offer speculation on why the donations have dropped, "People think the economy is better. (the donors think) Things are better for me, so that means there isn't enough need out there."
The goal for DMARC is to withstand the high demand and hope other donors will come forward. "“I know that if we put the plea out there, our donors realize the need and they come fourth,” said Whitlow.
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