DES MOINES, Iowa – With an estimated 395,000 Iowans who don’t have enough to eat, the Food Bank of Iowa is launching a new program aimed at helping people get fresh fruits and veggies free of charge.
“Fresh Produce Stand” is a new program recently launched by the food bank.
Christina Zink with the food bank says people often skip fresh produce at the store because of the cost.
“A lot of times individuals and families in need are reduced to buying canned items that are really high in calories, carbs so we`re able to provide this pilot program here and see if we can grow it,” Zink said.
The program targets low income families providing a mini farmer’s market free of charge.
Cindy Le says with the rising cost of fresh produce, the market helps keep healthy options in her home.
“It helps my mom and little brother and especially when they don`t get enough of this fruits and veggies so I can persuade them to eat it,” Le said.
Money for the market is provided through a grant from Coventry Health and Aetna. The food bank also has a corporate garden and gets donations from the Newton Correctional Facility garden and a family run garden in Madrid.
Every week the program helps about 150 households or 550 people. The Food Bank of Iowa is hoping to keep it going helping more families along the way.
“We would love to see this grow into more communities the rural areas where grocery stores aren`t as close by and just feed the need,” Zink said.
The market runs every Wednesday from 2:30 to 3:30 through August 13th. It’s located at 2300 Euclid Avenue across from the driver’s license station.