The Des Moines Area Religious Council food pantry network set a single-daily record for individuals assisted this week, with 1,614 people passing through its food pantries on Tuesday. The previous single-day record was 1,529 set on  Nov. 1. DMARC CEO Matt Unger said the record number caught the organization by surprise. "And while setting this record was unexpected, it’s just one more reminder that the need in our community is incredibly high right now," he said in a news release. The DMARC food pantry system, which consists of 15 food pantry partners and  multiple mobile food pantry locations and a home delivery service, has been seeing increased demand over the past year as inflation drove food prices higher and with the reduction in SNAP benefits on April 1. DMARC provided help to 53,077 people in 2022, with nearly 1 in 3 being first-time food pantry users. Unger said the agency expects demand at food pantries to continue rising through 2023."There are tens of thousands of people experiencing food insecurity in our community right now," he said. "Solving hunger and food insecurity is possible, but … it will take all of us working together – nonprofit organizations, government, and business alike."