DES MOINES, Iowa -- A Beaverdale couple is fighting food insecurity from their front yard, thanks to some divine intervention.
"We're really strong Christians and we felt God's nudge," Megan Ries says about what finally prompted she and her husband, Adam, to set up a tiny free food pantry. "I said: 'Hey, why not? Why not us?'"
Ries says she got the idea for the pantry about a year ago. She and her husband were spurred to finally take action after visiting the Food Bank of Iowa and learning more about food insecurity.
The 'Little Free 511 Pantry' opened for business last Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. It's stocked with non-perishable food items and personal hygiene items. Passersby are asked to take what they need and leave what they can.
Ries says business is starting to pick up, and she's hearing from some of those who've taken advantage.
"There's a lot of people who may look fine on the outside, but there need is great," Ries says, "Sometimes it can be embarrassing or a little taboo to talk about it. I've gotten some nice personal messages saying they really appreciate it."
The food pantry can be found on Hickman Road, west of 30th Street. It sits directly across Hickman from Monroe Elementary School. The Ries' hope families in need at the school will be drawn to the pantry.
The Ries' have an Amazon wish list that will help keep the pantry stocked. You can find more information on helping on the Facebook page set up for the pantry.