September 23, 2016
When the farmers market ends for the day in downtown Des Moines, the work for some is just getting started. From May through October, dozens of volunteers from Great Western Bank spend several hours each Saturday loading empty tubs onto carts and walking several blocks to visit vendors for food donations.
The Meals from the Market program began seven years ago as a collaboration between several community organizations in the Iowa capital city to help feed people in need. Farmers responded with impressive donations. In 2015, Maytag Dairy Farms donated nearly 450 pounds of cheese to the worthy cause.
Great Western Bank customer, Mike Penick, donated more than 6,000 pounds of corn. Once the food is collected and the trucks are loaded, it’s then distributed to 13 central Iowa food pantries.
This year, 64 Des Moines area Great Western Bank employees volunteered their time by logging 425 hours at the booth over thirteen weekends, alternating weekends the Downtown Farmers’ Market was open with other local volunteers. Through their efforts, the program collected an estimated 44,813 meals with an estimated value of $156,841.83, surpassing the program’s 2016 goal of an estimated 42,857 meals valued at $150,000.00.
Of the 51,963 pounds of food collected, 12,600 pounds was sweet corn generously donated by Great Western Bank customer Mike Penick.
In its eighth year, Meals from the Market has now put over 218,000 meals back into the local community in Des Moines, Iowa.
Making Life Great. It’s our mission. Giving back in each of the communities we serve.