Transforming the Marketplace

Des Moines Area Religious Council

2018 Progress Report

Year Committed: 2017
Length of Commitment: 3 years

Committed to increase distribution over three (3) years of the produce category, including all forms of fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruits and vegetables, by thirty percent (30%), and implement Pilot Test I for a new Pantry 2.0 model that incentivizes healthy food choices.

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Verified Results

    • Commitment Element

      Continue the MyPlate Choice Distribution System, where each family member receives all the recommended servings of food groups on the USDA's MyPlate in healthy version for three to five (3-5) days per month, in all current pantries and adding two (2) pantries to reach one hundred percent (100%) of all pantries.
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines Area Religious Council has implemented the MyPlate Choice Distribution System in all 14 physical food pantries and in one mobile unit. The MyPlate Choice Distribution System provides families with recommended servings of food groups on the USDA's MyPlate, in healthy versions, for three to five (3-5) days per month.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2017
    • Reporting Date

      September 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Increase distribution over three (3) years of the produce category, including all forms of fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruits and vegetables, by thirty percent (30%).
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines Area Religious Council met its commitment by increasing produce distributions by 56% above baseline. 1,926,791 pounds of produce, including 463,515 pounds of canned produce and 1,463,276 pounds of fresh produce, were distributed to 21,632 households in FY 2018.

    • Implementation Date

      June 2020
    • Reporting Date

      September 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Implement new language in all Memorandums of Understanding with Pantry Network partners requiring refrigerator and freezer capacity based on number of clients served per week.
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines Area Religious Council developed an updated Memorandum of Agreement, which is required for all food pantries as of 7/1/17. The updated agreement requires minimum amounts of dedicated refrigeration and freezer capacity based on the number of clients served each week.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2017
    • Reporting Date

      September 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Implement Pilot Test I for a new Pantry 2.0 model that incentivizes healthy food choices through the use of a points model where point values will be assigned to foods, with clients receiving more food as they make healthier choices. Additionally, choice architecture will also be implemented in the pilot pantries that nudge clients in the direction of healthier choices. Actual food choices by clients will be tracked pre pilot and during pilot using DMARC proprietary database.
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines Area Religious Council implemented a Food Pantry 2.0 pilot program in coordination with the West Des Moines Human Services food pantry in 2017. In the first year of the pilot program, overall client score averages deceased from 2.21 in June 2017 to 1.93 in July 2018, meaning clients are selecting a healthier basket of food items. Fresh produce selections have also increased with fresh fruit and vegetables accounting for 32.5% of client food selections in June 2017 and 52.2% of selections in July 2018.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2017
    • Reporting Date

      September 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Distnbute a minimum of seventy-five (75) recipes that meet PHA Healthier Recipe Guidelines.
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines Area Religious Council is working to develop healthier recipes for clients that feature the fresh foods available in the pantry each week. In 2018, 14 different recipes that meet PHA's Healthier Recipe guidelines were created and distributed in collaboration with United Healthcare. Des Moines Area Religious Council will utilize television screens in the pantry to offer weekly recipes.

    • Implementation Date

      June 2020
    • Reporting Date

      September 2018

Partner Statement

“The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) is working with Partnership for a Healthier America to increase the number of fruits and vegetables being served in the State of Iowa’s largest food pantry network. In the second year of our commitment, DMARC increased distribution of fruits and vegetables by more than 55% over the previous year—providing a total of 1,926,791 pounds of produce, including 463,515 pounds of canned produce.

"We also expanded a pilot project aimed at integrating health and wellness services into the pantry setting through a focus on incentivized consumption of fresh and healthy foods. Known as Food Pantry 2.0, this program is the only known intervention in the State of Iowa to successfully and significantly increase consumption of fruits and vegetables. Between June 2017 and July 2018, the amount of fruits and vegetables selected by individuals utilizing Food Pantry 2.0 increased by nearly 20%. We believe Food Pantry 2.0 will ultimately improve the overall well-being of our pantry clientele—a population that has been found to be uniquely vulnerable to health conditions connected to a lack of access to and consumption of healthy, nutritious food.”