FRESH PRODUCE: Group Donates Items To Homeless

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A unique program is helping the metros homeless get more fresh fruit and veggies straight from the farm.

As the busy farmers market finished up for the day, the real work started for one group.

“It’s a wonderful cause it's getting fresh produce to DMARC and Hope Ministries to help and to give to the families here in central Iowa,” says Mary Whitfield of Meals from the Market.

Meals from the Market collects leftover produce from vendors after each downtown farmers market.

The donations get loaded up and sent to DMARC, Bethel Mission and Hope Ministries to help give families the fresh produce they otherwise couldn't afford.

“When we found out we could offset DMARCS food pantry budget by twenty percent that was a huge number for us that's why we have stayed involved,” says Mark Whitfield of Meals from the Market.

So far this year, the group has collected close to $65,000 in donated items.

One vendor says they participate in the program because they know the need is out there.

“We try to give extra because we know they don't have access to tomatoes, green beans, we sell at our home farm so we have an outlet for it, but not all of it, so it's great we can send some extra along, we’re very thankful,” says Polly Rinehart of Rinehart Farms.

Although each donation might not be much, the group says every items counts.

Helping Iowa families eat a little healthier with food straight from Iowa farmers.

“We're thrilled to be able to help and help people eat fresh produce straight from the field,” says Cindy Westrum of Westrum Farms.

So far this year the program has helped provide over 23,000 meals to central Iowa families.

If you would like to donate you can drop off produce to the organizations tent during any downtown farmers market, they’re located on the Northwest corner or 2nd and Court.

For more information on the program here.