How to Give Back at The Market
Are you looking for ways to give back this summer?
The Downtown Farmers’ Market has a program to help feed the hungry in Greater Des Moines (DSM) by providing thousands of pounds of fresh food to local organization Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) emergency pantries. The goods, including fresh produce, baked goods and non-perishables, are distributed throughout the region as part of the Meal from The Market program sponsored by First Interstate Bank.
Donations support the 14 food pantry sites around the city and additional Mobile Food Pantry sites including:
Bidwell-Riverside Center: 1203 S.E. Hartford Avenue, Des Moines
- Caring Hands Eastview Food Pantry: 4101 East 42nd Street, Des Moines
- Catholic Charities Outreach Center: 1815 Hubbell Avenue, Des Moines
- Central Iowa Shelter & Services: 1420 Mulberry Street, Des Moines
- Clive Community Services: 2190 NW 82nd Street, Suite A, Clive
- Drake Area Food Pantry: 3226 University Avenue, Des Moines
- Impact Community Action Partnership: 2701 SE Convenience Blvd, Suite 2, Ankeny
- Partnership Place: 5870 Merle Hay Road, Suite D, Johnston
- Polk County Northside Food Pantry: 3010 Sixth Avenue, Des Moines
- Polk County River Place Food Pantry: 2309 Euclid Avenue, Des Moines
- Salvation Army Citadel (East): 1216 East 25th Court, Des Moines
- Salvation Army Temple (West): 1330 6th Avenue, Des Moines
- Urbandale Food Pantry: 7611 Douglas Avenue, Suite 34/35, Urbandale
- West Des Moines Human Services: 139 6th St., West Des Moines
You can download a map of food pantry locations around DSM here. Each food pantry has its own operating hours. Visit dmarcunited.org for more information.
In addition to volunteering, you can support the program by donating cash or fresh food to the organization directly at the warehouse (100 Army Post Road) Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The team also accepts cash donations through their website.
Another way to Give Back at The Market is by volunteering during the 2022 season to collect vendor donations for Meals from The Market, raising awareness of the program and loading donated produce.
There are two options for volunteering with the Meals from the Market program. Some volunteers are positioned at the booth during Market hours (7 a.m. — Noon) to help talk about the program and receive cash donations from Marketgoers. Other volunteers help with food collection after The Market, walking along the vendor booths with Meals from the Market wagons. Volunteers can also participate in both elements of the program if they are interested.
If volunteering on-site is not possible, interested parties can donate cash that DMARC then uses to purchase produce from Market vendors to increase the food donations.
Volunteers must be at least 16 years old and able to pull a 30-pound wagon. Volunteering allows you to meet others in the community, earn volunteer hours and receive a free Market t-shirt. You can sign up to volunteer here.
See you at the next Downtown Farmers’ Market every Saturday through October where you can find the latest in local food, gifts and more.
From May to October, experience local artists, live music and entertainment at the Downtown Farmers’ Market featuring nearly 300 family farmers, bakers, artists and crafters from around the state. It’s easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.
Megan Renkel is the Downtown Farmers' Market Manager at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.