“Project Fresh” to provide free fresh produce in July

During the month of July, the Aetna Foundation is partnering with DMARC on “Project Fresh” to provide free fresh produce to people in the greater Des Moines community facing food insecurity.

“We are excited to partner with the Aetna Foundation on ‘Project Fresh,’” said DMARC Food Pantry Network Director Rebecca Whitlow. “People love being able to get fruits and vegetables that they otherwise might not be able to afford.”

This is the third year the Aetna Foundation has partnered with DMARC to distribute free fresh produce. In 2016 and 2017, DMARC and the Aetna Foundation partnered to operate a free fresh produce stand, “Fresh to Go!,” located in the Polk County River Place parking lot. But this year, the distribution model of “Project Fresh” hopes to be more equitable and provide greater access to fresh produce across the metro area.

“We’re excited to support DMARC and their efforts to bring fresh produce and more healthy choices – without the barriers of access or cost.”

“Programs such as this help to address often-neglected issues that affect people’s health, such as low income, distance from services, or in this case, lack of access to nutritious foods and fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Sharon Ions, Corporate Relations director for the Aetna Foundation. “We’re excited to support DMARC and their efforts to bring fresh produce and more healthy choices – without the barriers of access or cost.”

Fresh produce will be distributed at 13 DMARC partner food pantries and the DMARC Mobile Food Pantry site at DART Central Station. Produce will be distributed on a set schedule of Thursdays and Fridays, depending on the food pantry. “Project Fresh” distribution times and locations are listed below.

“Project Fresh” will feature a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, all free to receive. The produce has been purchased with funds provided by a grant from the Aetna Foundation.

DMARC was awarded $12,000 to procure fresh produce for “Project Fresh” by the Aetna Foundation. “Project Fresh” aims to introduce more fresh produce and healthy choices into the diet of low-income families and individuals in the greater Des Moines area.

“Project Fresh” Distribution Schedule and Location

Friday, July 6 & 20
  • Clive Community Services
    2190 NW 82nd Street, Suite A, Clive, IA 50325
  • West Des Moines Human Services
    139 6th Street, West Des Moines, IA 50265
  • Catholic Charities Outreach Center
    1815 Hubbell Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50316
  • Central Iowa Shelter & Services
    1420 Mulberry Street, Des Moines, IA 50309
  • Drake Area Food Pantry
    3226 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311
  • Polk County River Place Food Pantry
    2309 Euclid Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310
  • Salvation Army Temple
    1330 6th Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50314


Thursday, July 12 & 26
  • Johnston Partnership Place
    5870 Merle Hay Road, Suite D, Johnston, IA 50131
  • Salvation Army Citadel
    1216 East 25th Court, Des Moines, IA 50317
  • Bidwell Riverside Center
    1203 SE Hartford Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50315
  • IMPACT Ankeny
    2701 SE Convenience Blvd, Suite 2, Ankeny, IA 50021
  • Polk County Northside Food Pantry
    3010 Sixth Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50313
  • Urbandale Food Pantry
    7611 Douglas Avenue, Suite 34/5, Urbandale, IA 50322
  • DMARC Mobile Food Pantry at DART Central Station
    620 Cherry Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

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