United Way directs $50,000 to help pantries feed more people
DES MOINES -- United Way of Central Iowa announced today it will direct $50,000 to provide food for hungry families during the holidays. The funds will assist the 12 food pantries operated by the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) to help stock up at a time of increased need.
The contribution means DMARC can provide an additional 37,500 meals for local families.
United Way’s Goal for 2020 is to cut by half the number of families who are financially unstable. The DMARC funding helps reduce material hardships like lack of food, shelter and transportation, which create barriers to employment and financial stability.
United Way Board member and Income Cabinet chair Mike McCoy says United Way volunteer leaders were eager to direct dollars to help families who need it most.
“United Way is responsive to children and families in need of extra help this time of year. Children who rely on school breakfast and lunch programs will be without that food program during the winter break. United Way donors want to offer their support to help meet basic needs of hard-working families,” McCoy says.
Two weeks ago, DMARC announced it had reduced the number of items in a food box for a family of four. DMARC executive director Sarai Rice says cash contributions have not kept pace with the 33 percent jump in the number of families seeking food from the pantries since 2010.
Rice says DMARC last month served 3,906 families, 226 who needed emergency food supplies for the first time. “We’ve seen an increase in the number of families throughout the year, as they continue to struggle through the poor economy.”
And she says financial donations to DMARC mean the pantries can purchase far more food than can be collected through food drives or purchased from retailers.