Free Meal Event at Urban Dreams Brings Community Together

DES MOINES, Iowa  -- Urban Dreams, a social services organization in Des Moines, understands the impact a free meal can have on a person or family. For the fourth year, they gave away free meals for 24 hours.

Local first responders were invited to build a better relationship with the community in a relaxed setting.

"We try to work on 'out-of-car' experiences with the police department, I've seen a lot of relationships form and grow through this event these last few years," Urban Dreams Board Secretary Heather Jones said. "It's actual engagement, it's seeing people past the uniform, and past whoever they might be and seeing them on a human level, it's incredibly powerful."

The event also connected community members with local restaurants. Dozens of restaurants donated food to the 24-hour meal, and some of them came by to serve it as well.

"The DMACC Culinary Institute came out this year and they had their chef hats on and six students served the food," Urban Dreams Executive Director Izaah Knox said. "The six students weren't from here so they got to meet the community in a different way and have a whole new perspective about people."

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