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Ag Law Center works with local organizations to increase fruit and vegetable consumption

June 4, 2014

Meals from the Market

Drake University Agricultural Law Center is proud to be involved in several upcoming efforts to increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed by individuals who lack access to affordable healthy food due to health issues or income.

On Saturday, June 14, the Drake University Agricultural Law Center Buy Fresh Buy Local (BFBL) campaign will be at the Downtown Farmers’ Market Meals from the Market Booth, on 2nd and Court Avenue, to increase awareness about locally grown produce from Iowa. We invite you to stop by the booth from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. to learn more.

Meals from the Market is a project of the Downtown Farmers’ Market sponsored by Great Western Bank. This year DMARC and Greater Des Moines Buy Fresh Buy Local are partnering to support the project that provides fresh produce to the hungry and homeless in Central Iowa. Vendors and patrons of the Market are invited to participate in the program, now in its sixth year.

Seven Drake University students from the Drake Community Engagement and Service Learning office will be volunteering at the market that day to assist in the Meals from the Market project. Drake students will be part of the volunteer effort to collect this produce and other food items from vendors and the community. Food and monetary donations are accepted at the booth during the market, and are all tax deductible. We encourage those wanting to donate to purchase fresh produce from the market and bring the produce or any baked, canned, or prepared food to the booth, to be given to shelters and food pantries throughout the Des Moines area. Produce from home gardens is also an acceptable donation as long as the food is fit for human consumption. All donations help to assist the 54,670 hungry people in the Polk County area (Feeding America, 2012), and many others throughout Central Iowa who lack access to affordable healthy foods.

The Drake University Agricultural Law Center will also be at the booth on July 12, Aug. 9, Sept. 6, and Oct. 4. Look for Drake University volunteers including undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty who will be volunteering with Meals From the Market to collect healthy locally grown foods for Central Iowa families in need.

Plant a Mile

Join Drake University and the Greater Des Moines Buy Fresh Buy Local Campaign in an effort to combat hunger in Central Iowa by supporting efforts to increase access to fresh and locally grown produce.

We invite you to join us for an evening of great food and a great way to celebrate Father’s Day at the Plant a Mile project fundraiser – Saturday, June 15, 5 p.m., HoQ Restaurant.

The Plant a Mile project provides accesses to fresh fruits and vegetables to local families through the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) Food Pantry Network. Through collaboration with local farmers, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, private businesses, faith-based groups, and volunteers, the Plant a Mile project has been able to put fresh produce on the shelves of Central Iowa food pantries.

Plant a Mile is organized by Greater Des Moines Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign, a project of Drake University, made possible with help from our sponsors: Campbell’s Nutrition, Cultivating Compassion: The Dr. Richard Deming Foundation, Devour Des Moines, HoQ Restaurant, Iowa Heartland Resource Conservation and Development, Kitchen Collage of Des Moines, and the Downtown Farmers’ Market.

The fundraising dinner will take place at HoQ Restaurant, 303 E 5th Street, Des Moines. For a $75 donation, participants will receive a meal including light appetizers, salad, choice of entrée, dessert, and coffee. Guests are encouraged to bring wine as there will be a $10 corkage fee donated to the Plant a Mile and a cash bar available.

RSVP by Monday, June 9. Reservations can be online or by email to bfbl@drake.edu.

We are thankful for all the support, donations, and contributions that have been made to the Plant a Mile project and the DMARC food pantry network. The DMARC Move the Food initiative works to address problems with the food system in the greater Des Moines area through years of food assistance work with the vision of a day when everyone in Polk County will have enough to eat. Help us in our efforts to support the DMARC Food Pantry Network in efforts to increase access to healthy foods throughout the 13 neighborhood pantry sites. We hope you will join us in this effort to end hunger in Central Iowa.