Nov 22, 2022 - News

November marks busiest month for Des Moines food pantries

Illustration of fork and knife with a plate the shape of Iowa

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

November is traditionally the busiest month for food pantries, and this year has been no exception for Des Moines Area Religious Council.

Driving the news: The combination of heating costs and holiday shopping make the month even more financially difficult for families, said Matt Unger, executive director of DMARC.

By the numbers: November kicked off with the most visitors in a single day with 1,500 people stopping by 15 pantries on November 1 this year.

  • Since then, DMARC has helped 14,000 people, Unger said.

Between the lines: Visitor numbers for November are slightly behind what they were in 2019 — the year before additional pandemic benefits began, Unger said.

  • Some extra assistance for families with children is still available, helping the pantry meet demand, he noted.

What's next: December is expected to be a particularly difficult month for DMARC because of the recent end of its partnership with the Food Bank of Iowa, which it purchased wholesale items from.

  • A meeting is scheduled this week between both groups.
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