The Des Moines Area Religious Council Food Pantry Network is partnering with the Downtown Farmers’ Market to bring back the Meals from the Market program. The program is presented by UnityPoint Health and sponsored by Great Western Bank. According to a news release, Meals from the Market began in 2009. It helps provide fresh, local produce to food pantries in Central Iowa. Volunteers ask vendors to donate unsold produce to the program. The food is then collected and loaded into a truck and distributed throughout the DMARC food pantry system. Since 2014, Meals from the Market has contributed more than 255,000 pounds of fresh, local food to people who are experiencing food insecurity in the Des Moines area. Visitors to the farmers market can also make cash donations at the Meals from the Market booth at Court Avenue and Third Street. Volunteers are being sought to help collect food from vendors. The Downtown Farmers’ Market returns for a live, in-person market Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon.

Iowa Stops Hunger is a yearlong Business Publications Corp. initiative to bring awareness and action to food insecurity in Iowa. Read additional stories on Iowastopshunger.com.