Local collaboration provides cause for spring celebration.

With support from Fareway and Murphy Family Foundation, meal boxes, which included items to make a spring celebration meal, were distributed to 1,000 DMPS families through the Food Bank of Iowa DMPS school pantry network on March 31 and April 1, 2021. The meal boxes were made possible with a donation from the Murphy Family Foundation and a partnership with Fareway Stores.

Since March 2020, food insecurity has increased dramatically across Iowa. Households with children are more likely to experience food insecurity, as changes to employment, education and daily schedules have increased the need for food assistance. Households of color with children are twice as likely to suffer from food insecurity when compared to white households.

It is estimated that 5,000 DMPS students do not have adequate nutrition at home. Food pantries, like the 14 offsite pantries established by Food Bank of Iowa last fall, help bridge the gap. DMPS families may visit any of these pantries during open hours, as often as needed, with no appointment or identification necessary to get enough food to meet the needs of the entire family.

The spring meal boxes, which were funded by the Murphy Family Foundation and created in partnership with Fareway, included ham, rolls, potatoes, green beans, pineapple, Jell-O and brownies. Murphy family members and Fareway employees assembled the boxes in the Food Bank of Iowa volunteer center last week.

“The last year has been especially tough for our families,” said Michelle Book, president and CEO of Food Bank of Iowa. “This gift from the Murphy family will offer relief and a bit of spring joy for DMPS families who are struggling to make ends meet. I appreciate this collaboration born of our shared vision for a hunger-free Iowa.”

This distribution was made possible in part by Fareway’s Lead with Love initiative. Created to support local communities, the initiative focuses on Fareway employees being assets to the communities in which they live and being helpful to their neighbors. 

In addition to purchasing items for the spring meal boxes, funds from the Murphy Family Foundation will help Food Bank of Iowa purchase food to stock pantry shelves across our 55-county service area.

Any organization or individual interested in joining the fight for a hunger-free Iowa can volunteer, donate, and find advocacy information at FoodBankIowa.org.