Des Moines University’s osteopathic medical students have volunteered during October to support Operation: Fresh Produce Drop, an effort by the central Iowa nonprofit Eat Greater Des Moines. Since the beginning of the pandemic, EGDM has worked to strengthen and fill gaps in the area’s food system. Operation: Fresh Produce Drop originally started as a way to help move excess bulk products from wholesale distributors, especially as many local restaurants closed, while also supporting organizations affected by the pandemic. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a third round of the operation’s Farmers to Families Boxes, each of which includes approximately 30 pounds of produce, dairy and meat products.
In partnership with Des Moines Area Religious Council and with the help of DMU students and other volunteers, EGDM is distributing these boxes every Thursday during October to its partners like churches, refugee/immigrant communities, in-home daycare centers and more who are not traditionally able to access emergency food resources.