Wellmark Foundation grant
funds hunger initiative in Polk County
Grant, chosen from 150 requests, to improve access to nutritious,
February 15, 2011
(Des Moines, Iowa) – The Des Moines
Area Religious Council (DMARC) will use a $25,000, 13-month
grant from the Wellmark Foundation to continue their hunger
reduction efforts in Des Moines.
Grant helps “map an end to hunger”
Mapping an End to Hunger in Greater Des Moines is developing
a community based model to reduce hunger among low-income
residents by increasing access to nutritional and affordable
food. The program’s first phase, supported in part by
a previous Wellmark Foundation grant, created an interactive
food security map of the community.
In its second phase, the program will expand beyond the historic
concept of proving hunger relief, to facilitate a system-wide
community based model. Their work will ultimately end hunger
and improve health for Polk County families in need.
Strategies will be focused in three major areas:
- Nutrition education/outreach
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) outreach
- Formation of a local food policy council, the Greater
Des Moines Food Research and Action Council
Grant one of only 17 competitively selected
The Wellmark Foundation is a non-profit foundation that seeks
to improve the health of Iowans, South Dakotans, and their
communities. Through its 2010 Healthy Communities Grant Program,
the Foundation received nearly 150 grant requests. This grant
award to DMARC represents one of 17 competitively awarded
to establish or expand health initiatives throughout Iowa
and South Dakota.
Cumulatively, The Wellmark Foundation is proud to award $1,334,817
to these 17 grants to serve as catalyst funding for local
“DMARC has a strong track record of reducing hunger
in our local food system, and we’re proud to support
this innovative program,” says Matt McGarvey, the Foundation’s
director. “Hunger and health are closely linked. Improving
access to nutritious, affordable food will benefit the entire
About Des Moines Area Religious Council
The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) is an interfaith
organization that exists to provide a common means of responding
to basic human needs. The DMARC Emergency Food Pantries strive
to meet the short-term needs of the food insecure in our area.
More than 1.5 million meals were provided in 2010 from the
food distributed through the DMARC Emergency Food Pantry.
For more information on the Des Moines Area Religious Council
and its programs, contact Kristine Frakes, (515) 277-6969
For more information regarding the Wellmark Foundation and
its grant programs, visit www.wellmark.com/foundation.