2019—A Year of Challenges, Growth & Innovation

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We can’t believe it’s already 2020! Check out some of the highlights of 2019 at Eat Greater Des Moines below ⬇️


The Team

In 2019, our staff grew from a team of one to a team of three! We welcomed Joie Probst, Program Coordinator, in April and Steven Williams, Operations Manager, in May. We were incredibly lucky to have two awesome Communication Interns, Marcy and Claire, over the summer. Plus Ungwa our student intern with Evelyn K. Davis Center and Maya our Drake Engaged Citizen student.

Food Rescue

In its second year, EGDM’s transportation program in partnership with Wesley Life, rescued 335,000 lbs. of food from Kum & Go convenience stores. Recipient organizations benefitting from this program increased 21 to 40 locations.  Food pantries, after-school programs, and eleven affordable housing apartment communities now benefit from this program. The affordable-living communities represent a new, incredibly successful addition to the partnerships.

In September 2019, ReFED,  a multi-stakeholder nonprofit dedicated to the reduction of food waste in the United States, selected a cohort of ten organizations to participate in its first Nonprofit Food Recovery Accelerator. Out of more than 125 applicants nationwide, Eat Greater Des Moines was chosen to participate. The Accelerator brought together leading experts in food recovery, philanthropy, food service, and innovation to guide the cohort through a three-month program that provided the tools necessary to scale their impact. The EGDM team’s initiative combined software, shared-use refrigerated vans, and a paid-driver program to make the food rescue system more dynamic, effective, and equitable while providing support to organizations throughout the food system.

Garden Support

EGDM continues to seek ways to better support the garden network of over 80 school, community and faith-based gardens. 26,500 lbs. of produce was reported during the 2019 season. 26,000 came from two amazing faith-based gardens. We continue to work on making the reporting and tracking simpler for garden leaders and work to better support.

Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB)

The DUFB program was promoted at five farmers markets and expanded to two new farm stands, Dog Patch Urban Gardens, and Sweet Tooth Farms.

In 2019, we were able to leverage funding from UWCI to help the Healthiest State Initiative apply for a USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program grant. They were awarded a three-year grant of nearly $500,000 to support DUFB, with a majority of the funding going to DUFB incentive dollars.

Through the additional funding, DUFB was promoted at five farmers markets and expanded to two new farm stands, Dog Patch Urban Gardens and Sweet Tooth Farms, and grocery stores.

In our region, the program was available at six Fareway stores. This expansion dramatically increased the distribution of DUFB with $162,630 distributed in central Iowa alone. This lead to large numbers of incentives being distributed at retail locations then redeemed at local farmers markets, expanding the customer base of local farmers.

We can’t wait for the year ahead as we continue to work with our community to build the food system that we all deserve! 

Emma Gellerstedt

Emma Gellerstedt

Eat Greater Des Moines Intern