Jun 9, 2022 - News

How Des Moines' Food Rescue app can prevent food waste

Illustration of a cell phone wearing a napkin in between a fork and spoon.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

A local non-profit is asking for the public's help to feed hungry families through a unique app that prevents food waste.

Driving the news: Eat Greater Des Moines is partnering with grocery stores, gas stations and normal everyday people to take excess food off their hands.

Why it matters: The demand for food assistance is strong, especially since Iowa's SNAP benefits reverted back to their pre-pandemic levels, leaving families with $95 less a month.

  • At the same time, Aubrey Alvarez, executive director of Eat Greater Des Moines, estimates half a million pounds of food are going into the garbage in the metro every month.
  • "We're just making sure this food doesn't go into the dumpster," Alvarez said.
  • The non-profit then gives the food to shelters and churches who distribute it to families in need.

Yes, but: Transporting the often perishable goods in a timely manner is a challenge.

  • That's where app users come in.

How it works: Anyone can download the non-profit's "Food Rescue App" and sign up to volunteer.

  • It'll give you notifications of when a food rescue matches your availability.
  • You'll then get delivery instructions.

Even if you can't haul items around town, the non-profit is looking for people who are willing to have their excess food picked up.

  • If you're hosting an event, like a wedding or office gathering, you can offer to have your food picked up by contacting them here.

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