Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Awards $5,000 Grant to Des Moines Area Religious Council For Capacity Building

Feb. 3, 2011 null

The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) recently received $5,000 from the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. Funds were provided under the Community Foundation's Organizational Effectiveness Grant Program.


The grant will be used for communications/technology enhancement and will support the Council's new MovetheFood initiative. Through the initiative, DMARC is working to establish a distinct brand for emergency food assistance work in Polk County/Greater Des Moines.


Key MovetheFood activities include logo and website development, integration of social media networking mediums, and utilization of innovative marketing campaign strategies. The full website and campaign launch is scheduled for March of this year.


Sarai Rice, DMARC executive director, said, "We are very grateful for this funding from the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines." Said Rice, "This project will build DMARC's technology and marketing capacities. It will significantly increase our ability to share community needs and program successes with loyal and new audiences in an energetic and fresh way."


Continued Rice, "Ultimately, we hope to shift the mindset about emergency food assistance and more fully engage the broader community to make sure each of our neighbors has enough to eat. This project is one of many steps DMARC is taking in that direction."


Vice President of the Community Foundation Kristi Knous said, "The Community Foundation's Organizational Effectiveness Grants are designed to strengthen nonprofit organizations by providing funding that builds staff capacity. Through this grant, DMARC is developing an innovative way to communicate needs in our community and encouraging others to get involved."


With a centralized warehouse distribution center and 12 separate pantry sites, the DMARC Emergency Food Pantry is the largest food pantry network in Iowa. Pantry sites are located in West Des Moines, Ankeny, Johnston, and Urbandale, with eight sites in Des Moines. In 2010, the Emergency Food Pantry assisted about 10,000 families.


DMARC has operated the Emergency Food Pantry in Greater Des Moines since 1976, helping meet the short-term need for food when families are not eligible for or aware of SNAP (formerly food stamps), or when the program is inadequate to meet their food needs. Families can receive a free, five-day supply of nutritionally balanced food once each 30 days.


The Des Moines Area Religious Council is an interfaith organization with a core membership of about 150 congregations from 10 faith traditions. DMARC exists to provide a common means of responding to basic human needs and, in so doing, offers a context for interfaith dialogue, education, fellowship and support while serving as a liaison between member congregations and the greater Des Moines community. is a DMARC-led campaign, building on the solid foundation of 40 years of the DMARC Emergency Food Pantry, that will catalyze fresh generations and engage new constituencies to further support our shared vision for a day when everyone in Polk County has enough to eat.