New Home for DMARC's Food Pantry Network - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

New Home for DMARC's Food Pantry Network

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Addie Olson


The Des Moines Area Religious council has more people than ever coming to their food pantries. DMARC serves about 35,000 Central Iowans each year.

Their warehouse needs to hold enough food to distribute to each of DMARC's 13 area pantries, but as the number of people needing help has grown, the warehouse has been pushed to its limits.

Boxes of food fill DMARC's warehouse on 36th St. and Douglas Ave.

During the holiday season, more donations come in than any other time of the year.

"It just has proved impossible to really do all the work that we need to do in that space," said DMARC Executive Director Sarai Rice. "We can't push any more food through 1600 square feet than we are right now. We're providing enough food right now for about 25 to 30 thousand meals a week."

DMARC came up with an answer for the increasing number of hungry Iowans.

It sits inside the old homeless shelter on Mulberry Avenue.

"Today is the first delivery ever in our brand new warehouse space," said Rice of a truck brought in by Hy-Vee.

The new Mulberry Ave. warehouse is nearly four times the size of the current space, allowing DMARC to store more food for more people.

"In that space we have 1600 square feet and in this space we have 6000 so we will be able to serve so many more people," she said.

The first shipment of food brought more than $5,000 worth of cereal to the new warehouse's shelves and what seemed to be a permanent smile to Sarai Rice's face.

"We love it," she said. "We absolutely love it."

DMARC plans on doing a rolling transition into the new warehouse as food comes in over the next month. Their official opening date is set for January 20th.

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