Eat Greater Des Moines: Get Your Kids Involved in Food Rescue!
Did you know that 1 in 5 Iowa children do not have enough food to eat? According to the Food Bank of Iowa, food insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. It can reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.
Just as staggering, statistics also tell us that nearly 70,000 individuals in the Greater Des Moines metro are food insecure.
Often where I share this information with others, they ask how they can help, but don’t always feel like they can do enough to turn these numbers around. That’s not true! We can all help!
It’s important to understand more about food rescue. Food rescue is the process of collecting donated food from restaurants, caterers, and other food service providers and distributing that food to people in need through local social service organizations. In the food business, predicting exact levels of demand can be a challenge. As a result, there is often safe, prepared food left unsold at the end of a shift, event, or work day. Such food can be put to good use through a food rescue program, which manages the pickup of donated food and distribution to agencies that serve people who are food insecure.
We are lucky to have a local nonprofit organization who is tackling food rescue head on – Eat Greater Des Moines. Their goal is to provide access to healthy food to all Iowans, with a focus on those within Central Iowa.
This is an amazing opportunity to get your kids involved in food rescue efforts. We often look for ways where our families can volunteer in the community, but sometimes struggle to find something that naturally fits into our everyday … until now!
The first thing we can do is inquire about opportunities around us to rescue food. Think about your place of work, if you attend or host a catered event, or even when we visit our local grocery store. Are we doing our part to ask where the leftover food is headed? Quite possibly the destination is the trash, but it doesn’t have to be. You can advocate for food rescue, educate others, and help deliver extra food to those who need it. Implement a food rescue policy at work and help friends and family engage with food rescue too.
How else can you help? Simple. You can volunteer your time as a driver to get meals from where they are to where they need to go. This is a great way to also involve your kids. Eat Greater Des Moines is always looking for drivers all over the metro and surrounding communities. Lastly, they can’t do it without financial support too – so consider donating to their cause!