DES MOINES, Iowa – Answering the question ‘What’s for dinner?’ has become a difficult one to answer for many Iowans in the wake of Monday’s derecho storm.
Hundreds of thousands of Iowans are still without power and likely now have a refrigerator filled with spoiled food. According to the FDA, a refrigerator without power will only keep food cold for about four hours. A freezer can maintain food at a safe temperature up to 48 hours, but only if you keep the door closed.
If you didn’t act yesterday to move food to coolers or pack your freezer with dry ice, it’s likely everything perishable in your fridge has now perished. But there is help available for hungry residents right now.
The city of Des Moines’ ongoing emergency food distribution program started at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic is serving the public during our current storm recovery as well. The city offers at least five locations each day where residents can get a free, hot meal.
Des Moines Black Lives Matter are offering free meals as well nightly. They are announcing the times and locations via their Twitter account. On Tuesday they plan to offer free food at MLK Jr. Park, River Hills Apartments and the South Side Library in Des Moines.
Central Iowa Shelters and Services is also partnering with local restaurants and food trucks to offer free food right now through their Summer Meals program. Free meals are provided on weeknights at locations across the city.