Des Moines food pantry plans to move, sell downtown location

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines food pantry that last year helped nearly 60,000 people announced Tuesday it has launched a $5.6 million capital campaign and would move its headquarters from downtown to the city’s south side.

The Des Moines Area Religious Council’s move is needed because of a nearly 80% increase in the number of people the organization has assisted since moving to its current downtown site in 2014, the group said.

DMARC agreed in October 2020 to buy a building, and a construction company began renovations last spring with a goal of finishing the work in early 2022. The new site will triple the amount of storage space and dramatically improve the cold storage capacity, the group said.

The organization plans to sell its current location, with the proceeds adding to $1.5 million already raised for the campaign.

DMARC is a 45-year-old organization, and its food network consists of 14 pantry sites, mobile pantry locations and two food warehouses. The group assisted more than 58,000 people last year in the Des Moines metro area.