EGDM helping provide fridges & freezers to groups stepping up to feed the community

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On December 10th, Eat Greater Des Moines delivered 25 refrigerators and freezers to 18 groups working to feed the community during the pandemic.

“By providing equipment we are amplifying and empowering groups that have already stepped up to support the growing need for food during the pandemic,” said Aubrey Alvarez, Executive Director of EGDM.

With many Iowans struggling to access food in the wake of COVID-19 and an estimated 40% of food being wasted in the United States every year, Eat Greater Des Moines works to connect this extra food to organizations and places that need it. However, proper storage and refrigeration to safely store food is a challenge for many non-traditional partners.

Groups receiving equipment like The Supply Hive, Des Moines Public Schools, EMBARC, and Good Vibes Yoga don’t traditionally provide food, but have started to fill the rising needs of the clients they work with.

Other groups like Shelle’s Lil Friends childcare center and religious organizations like Team Jesus of Iowa have been receiving Farms to Families Food Boxes through Operation: Fresh Produce drop and will use the added equipment to help safely store the food.

This was all made possible from a grant Eat Greater Des Moines received of $10,000 through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’s Food Storage Capacity Grant that aims to help address food waste, an issue that negatively impacts environmental, economic and social sustainability in Iowa and across the country.

“It is encouraging to see Iowans working together to help ensure nutritious food is recovered and distributed to individuals and families in need. DNR’s Food Storage Capacity grants provide cold storage of perishable foods that otherwise may have become waste,” said Director Kayla Lyon


One of the fridges was used by Monika Owczarski of Sweet Tooth Farm and other community leaders in the River Bend neighborhood to create the first community fridge in Des Moines.

This is one of the ways Eat Greater Des Moines hopes to get the community to think outside of the box of where food can go while working to build a stronger food system where everyone can access food when they need it.

“There is plenty of food out there that usually gets thrown away,” said Alvarez. “Providing equipment like fridges and freezers helps build the infrastructure needed to make sure this food gets to people who can use it.”

Through another generous grant, EGDM plans to provide more equipment in the coming months to other partners working to safely support their partners.  


Proteus, Inc.
DMPS – Moulton Elementary School
The Supply Hive
Church of God of Prophecy
EMBARC – Karenni Community
La Iglesia de Senor (LIDS)
Team Jesus of Iowa
Des Moines Refugee Support
Dan Lopez Ministries
DMPS – Weeks Middle School
EMBARC – Main Office
Shelle’s ‘Lil Friends
Garrison & Associates
DMPS – Callanan Middle School
DMPS – Hoyt Middle School
DMPS – Morris Elementary 
EMBARC – Chin Community
Good Vibes Yoga
Joie Probst

Joie Probst

Communications & Outreach Manager