DES MOINES, Iowa -- Last month, the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) Food Pantry Network served more individuals and households in Greater Des Moines than any other month in its 41-year history.
In November, 21,079 individuals (8,518 households) were served, which was an increase of 14% from November 2016. It was the first month ever that the DMARC Food Pantry Network served over 19,000 individuals.
Leaders in the Network say the need in the community continues to grow as people struggle to make enough to survive, even as the cost of living continues to rise.
"This year, in November, we served, we had a 20% increase over last year in November," said Missy Reams, Volunteer and Program Coordinator at Bidwell-Riverside Center. "Over 5,400 people came through the building in the month of November. We did get over a thousand families turkeys or 10-pound meat packages. The first day we gave out turkeys, we averaged 65 families an hour through the pantry for the first five hours."
"Wages and the kinds of benefits that people receive when they're on disability or something like that are simply not keeping up with costs," said Rev. Sarai Schnucker Rice, DMARC executive director. "People are just not able to make ends meet, and so food is one of the things that they can get assistance for, and there's just an increasing number of people who aren't able to make ends meet."
DMARC invites community organizations and individuals to host a fund or food drive for the Food Pantry Network. DMARC can currently purchase three to six times more food with the same dollar than the average consumer. Learn how you can help today by visiting www.dmarcunited.org, or contact DMARC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-277-6969.