Breaking News
More () »

11 DMARC food pantries opt out of partnership with Food Bank of Iowa

Eleven out of 15 DMARC pantries opted not sign the Food Bank of Iowa's new agreement.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Food Bank of Iowa and some DMARC pantries are breaking up.

Those pantries said they're not able to meet the Food Bank's new demands.

Luke Elzinga, the communications manager for DMARC, said before the Food Bank of Iowa gave the pantries addendum, anyone who walked into one of the 15 pantries would receive three days worth of food.

However, they would only be allowed to visit one pantry for the month for that three-day supply. When they ran out, they would not be able to get another three-day supply from another pantry. Instead, they could go to the pantries and get food from the 'Anytime' program. 

However, Elzinga said these rules are changing due to a new agreement the Food Bank of Iowa sent to the network.

"Each individual pantry needed to provide that three-day supply of food once per month to anyone," Elzinga said. "So if someone was getting a three-day supply here, they could then go to another pantry and get a three-day supply and another and get a three-day supply." 

Due to the change, Elzinga said 11 of the 15 pantries opted not to sign.

One of them was the West Des Moines Human Services. 

In a statement, director Althea Holcomb said they didn't sign the new agreement because "Non-profits work on a budget year of July to June and this came in September. So no way to plan for additional food because of a set budget."

Local 5 also reached out to the Food Bank of Iowa to ask them about the change.  

Vice President of Operations Tami Nielsen said in a statement,"We thought this would be the best way to serve Iowans in need in this record time of great need," said Tami Nielsen, vice president of operations, in a statement. "One way to do that is to ask pantry partners to supply a minimum of three-day food supply per month."

Elzinga said he understands the Food Bank of Iowa is just trying to help more people, but this could do the opposite. 

He noted DMARC gets about 20% to 30% of their food from the Food Bank of Iowa and during a time when the pantries are seeing an increased need, this is going to hurt them.

 "Since April of this year, we have been seeing double digit increase in our food pantries…and we fully anticipate that this November will be our single biggest month of food pantry use ever in our 46 year history," Elzinga said.

The partnership between those 11 pantries and the Food Bank of Iowa ends November 2. 

Local 5 is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out