Catholic Charities' St. Mary Family Center distributes more than 8500 food boxes each year to an average of 660 families each month. In addition to emergency food boxes, St. Mary Family Center offers perishable food items, clothing and infant items. Daily traffic at the center has grown to an average of 450-550 people each day.
Emergency food boxes for families in need - The emergency food box contains a four day supply of non-perishable food items. A family may receive an emergency food box one time per calendar month. Because there are several food pantry sites in and around Des Moines, St. Mary’s food boxes are limited to those who live in Des Moines.
Bread is available every day for families in need. Families may take up to two loaves per day per household. Anyone, regardless of their address, is free to come any day for bread products.
Diapers & Infant Formula - Diapers and infant formula is available following the same guidelines as food boxes.
Free clothing closet available to anyone, regardless of their address. All clothing is donated, so available sizes vary from week to week.
Want to get involved? Click here for current volunteer opportunities and donation needs.
Stocking the Shelves
Ever wonder where your church/business’ food drives go or your donations to the Red Barrels in the grocery stores? St. Mary Family Center is one of the Des Moines Area Religious Council’s (DMARC) food pantry sites and receives ninety percent of its food supplies from the DMARC food pantry. We also purchase food at a discounted rate from the Food Bank of Iowa as well as receive donations from local businesses and community groups.
Why is the daily traffic so high and the need so great?St. Mary Family Center is located in Capitol East neighborhood, which is defined by the Child and Family Policy Center as one of the “pockets” of poverty in the Des Moines area, with a poverty rate of 46.6%. Due to the need in the near East side of Des Moines, St. Mary Family Center has 450-550 individuals walk through their door each day, seeking food and clothing.