Spring meal boxes were distributed recently to Des Moines school families with support of the Murphy Family Foundation and Fareway. Photo contributed by Food Bank of Iowa.

Meal boxes were recently distributed to 1,000 Des Moines public school families through the Food Bank of Iowa Des Moines Public School pantry network. According to a news release, the meal boxes were distributed on March 31 and April 1 with support from Fareway and the Murphy Family Foundation. They included ham, rolls, potatoes, green beans, pineapple, Jell-O and brownies. The boxes were assembled at the Food Bank of Iowa volunteer center by Murphy family members and Fareway employees. According to the release, food insecurity dramatically increased in 2020. Households with children are more likely to experience food insecurity, with households of color twice as likely to suffer from food insecurity compared with white households. An estimated 5,000 Des Moines school students do not have adequate nutrition at home, the release stated. The meal boxes were made possible with a donation from the Murphy Family Foundation and a partnership with Fareway Stores and its Lead with Love initiative. “The last year has been especially tough for our families,” said Michelle Book, president and CEO of Food Bank of Iowa. “This gift from the Murphy family will offer relief and a bit of spring joy for DMPS families who are struggling to make ends meet.”