“Food rescue” programs to prevent perishable foods from perishing


DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines Public Schools is offering free breakfast and lunch to all students in the district. But even beyond that, for many students there was still not enough food to eat at home.

“We noticed that on the weekends children came back to school saying they weren’t eating or that they had no food at home,” said school coordinator Mariah Button. community of Walnut Street School, “It was something we wanted to address.

Button has served as community coordinator since January. She moved here from rural Minnesota, where there is also a food desert. So finding not enough food here was not expected.

“Yeah, I was surprised there was a need,” Button said. “There are many different food banks and organizations that help us. I know there are a lot of churches around that do Wednesday night meals like this, but sometimes families don’t have access.

So she set out to visit anyone who could donate to this Walnut Street school pantry.

“So when I started, we were just doing food rescue, so I went to a few companies that have restaurants,” Button said. “Bob King from Prep Meals was one of our first. I said what if I come once a week and pick up all your extra meals, he loved that idea.

Now she can reach into a freezer to send full meals home with the students.

She is also looking for winter coats and shoes and school supplies to give to her students who need something.

If you would like to donate to Walnut Street School and Downtown Elementary, contact Mariah Button at [email protected]


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