- Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines Area Religious Council’s network of food pantries say they served more people in September than any month in their history.

KCCI-TV (https://bit.ly/1M0YG5A ) reports council’s 12 pantries served more than 15,000 people last month, up from the nearly 14,800 individuals served in June. For comparison, the network only served 8,712 individuals in September 2012.

Council executive director Sarai Rice says one reason for the spike is the opening of their River Place pantry, which has drawn a neighboring immigrant population and older adults who use the federal supplemental food program in nearby stores.

“We thought River Place would be like every other pantry we’ve ever opened. Thought they would have 1,000 clients by end of the first year. We saw 900 clients in the first three weeks,” Rice said.

Rice says the new location is a “sweet spot” for giving people access to food resources where they previously had none.

“Not everybody can get to a food pantry,” said Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly. “We needed to bring the pantries to them and that’s where we came up with the idea of a mobile food truck.”

A mobile food truck is part of a $10 million fundraising campaign that kicked off this month. It will be a pantry on wheels, taking food into underserved parts of Polk County on a regular schedule.

Connolly said the mobile food pantry truck will likely cost around $100,000. She hopes it hits the streets early next year.

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Information from: KCCI-TV, https://www.kcci.com

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