We need good news now more than ever. In the absence of events to promote around the metro in the coming weeks, we'll instead be sharing "Des Good News" - a round-up of inspirational, positive news stories. Read on to learn how central Iowans, groups and organizations are supporting one another and how you can get involved too. Subscribe here.
Support for Central Iowans
- Fareway and Hy-Vee stores invite seniors, people with underlying health conditions, and expecting mothers to shop stocked shelves in a less stressful environment for the first hour each day.
- Polk County offers free drive-through meal service for seniors.
- DART has temporarily stopped all fare collection to help people access essential services.
- MidAmerican Energy Company and Des Moines Water Works both commit to keep the lights on and the gas and water flowing to homes and businesses.
- Iowa Workforce Development relaxes requirements for unemployment assistance.
- Free food pick-up options for Greater Des Moines children during school closures.
- Social media feeds are filled with calls to support small business by buying gift cards and ordering takeout. Read ways to support Greater Des Moines small businesses here.
- Paw It Forward: the Animal Rescue League of Iowa is offering a pet food pantry to help families keep their pets. Email the ARL for details or to donate.
- Loffredo Fresh Foods will be distributing a mix of fresh produce, dairy, and dry goods at distribution points posted on their Facebook page for the upcoming weeks (Monday - Friday) at no cost to the community. Each day a truck will arrive at the specified location with goods at 2 pm and remain there while supplies last.
- City of Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie has suspended parking meter enforcement.
- BCycle, a bike-share program, is offering free bike rides up to 60 minutes.
The new Facebook group "Des Moines, How Can We Help?" seeks to connect those in need with those willing to give. The days-old group is already 4,000+ members strong, with everything from offers of extra diapers and tips on where to find essential supplies, to requests for delivery of bottled water to immunocompromised individuals. Join here.
Central Iowa sports bar and restaurant giving away food to families in need
The Station on Ingersoll is making sure some of its food doesn’t go to waste during the spread of the novel coronavirus by donating to families in need of meals. The owners will offer the free service until they can open for regular business again. View the full Des Moines Register article here.
#GrubforScrubs thanks frontline healthcare workers with food delivery
Des Moines resident, Zach Steele, started the "Grub for Scrubs" fundraiser to thank frontline healthcare workers battling the coronavirus. He's already purchased 51 food delivery gift cards and sent the codes to UnityPoint Health. Healthcare workers get a well-deserved thank you, and local restaurants get a boost as well. Learn more and contribute here.
Jester Park Offers Virtual Nature Education Programs
The Jester Park Nature Center is streaming their programming on Facebook Live for families to enjoy and learn from home.
When times are tough, Greater Des Moines comes together. Even if it means we support each other at a distance. That’s why Catch Des Moines is partnering with The Greater Des Moines Partnership to launch the DSM Local Challenge. Through this initiative, you're encouraged to share the goods and services you’ve purchased locally. This could be takeout orders, gift cards, merchandise, season passes, donations and more. Anything that shows support to our local economy today.
The rules of the #DSMLocalChallenge are simple:
1) Tell your friends who you're supporting and use the hashtag #DSMlocalchallenge.
2) Post a photo of your purchases to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter showing how you support local small business.
3) Tag three friends to do the same.
Check out 515local.com for a listing of local businesses offering flexible hours and services, and visit Catch Des Moines' local resource hub for regular updates, news, and how you can support local business in Greater Des Moines.
Prairie Meadows donates six pallets of food to DMARC
Always a champion for Polk County, Prairie Meadows donated six pallets of perishable food to Des Moines Area Religious Council after temporarily closing their facilities. Earlier that same day, Prairie Meadows also reopened their semi-truck parking lot for truck drivers traveling coast to coast. Learn more here.
Iowa Brewers Guild to host #VirtualBeerFest
For $5, Iowa craft beer fans can support independent brewers by purchasing a ticket to the "Socially Distant Beer Festival" - a BYOB virtual beer festival to raise money for Iowa’s brewing industry staff. Purchase tickets and order the limited edition t-shirt here.
Iowa Wild raises money for the Food Bank of Iowa
The Iowa Wild, along with Mercedes Benz of Des Moines and The James Law Firm, last week announced a community relief initiative with funds going to the Food Bank of Iowa. Learn more and donate here.
The Foundry distillery in Valley Junction makes free hand sanitizer
Last week, the Foundry in Valley Junction began making sanitizer with their distilling equipment. Over the weekend, they gave out over 100 gallons of sanitizer. The community is invited back this week Thursday, March 26 - Saturday, March 28 from noon - 6 pm to bring your container for a free refill. Watch The Foundry's Facebook page for updates.
Local companies donate with food rescue app
As business changes, local companies are doing their part to help. Last week, Iowa Events Center and The Hilton Garden Inn made large donations of unused food through Eat Greater Des Moines' Chow Bank food rescue app. Learn more about food rescue here.
Virtual Tip Jar
Local service industry advocates are promoting a "Virtual Tip Jar." The initiative encourages the central Iowa community to tip your regular service industry professionals. Find servers, baristas and bartenders to virtually tip here.
In the time of social distancing, The Great Outdoors Foundation reminds us that nature's constant. They challenge you to head outdoors (while following CDC guidelines) and engage with nature as often as you can and post on social media with the hashtag #naturesconstant to be entered to win a $100 gift card to Pingora Outdoors & Active Endeavors.
Please help amplify these positive stories on social media using the hashtag #DesGoodNews. Have a "Des Good News" story to share? Please reach out to email@example.com.