St. Mark Neighborhood Fridge

About the Fridge

For additional information, check out our FAQ at the bottom of this page.

What is the Neighborhood Fridge?
What is the Neighborhood Fridge?

The St. Mark Neighborhood Fridge is a ministry of St. Mark Lutheran Church. We are dedicated to rescuing usable food from local sources and making it available to those in need.  It is open 24/7, handicap accessible and located at 1105 Grand Ave, West Des Moines, IA 50265.

Millions of people face hunger in the United States every year. On top of that, billions of fresh meals are thrown away, filling landfills.

Neighborhood/Community Fridges are one of the best ways we can combat food insecurity and prevent good food from going to waste. Simply put, a Neighborhood Fridge is a refrigerator used to share food at the neighborhood level. They’re housed in public, accessible places, making surplus, perishable food freely available to members of the community.

Food is provided by local businesses or members of the community and collected by the Fridge Team. Anyone can stop by and take the food that they need, no questions asked. A successful Community Fridge will reduce food waste, build stronger bonds within the community, and promote equal access to nutritious food.

How Does It Work and How Can I Help?
How Does It Work and How Can I Help?

Donors provide their excess food. We, the Fridge volunteers, pick up the food and bring it to the Fridge. Or you can drop it off donations directly to the fridge any time the fridge is open. We have labels and food packaging materials available.

Volunteers will check to see that food is inspected, labeled, and stored appropriately. We provide the facility and equipment to house the food. We ask that you not linger when visiting the Fridge out of respect for other guests.

How can I help?

What Can Be Donated?
What Can Be Donated?
  • Prepackaged, unexpired labeled food, for example: sandwiches, single package or perishable meals from restaurants, convenience stores, or gas stations.
  • Pallets of fruit, vegetables, or dry goods from wholesalers or distributors.
  • Extra dairy, meat, or eggs from groceries and other sellers.
  • Extra food from corporate cafeterias, schools, community centers, or large gatherings.
  • Extra food from personal events.
  • Extra produce from gardens.
  • Unexpired non-perishable foods, dry goods and canned items
  • All food that is donated must be fresh and is expected to follow safe food handling guidelines.
How Do I Donate Food?
How Do I Donate Food?

Is the donated food non-perishable?

  1. You may bring non-perishable items 24/7 using the new entrance door that leads directly into the Fridge room at the Discipleship Center.
  2. Place donated items neatly on the wire shelving.
  3. Try to place your donations with similar food groups.

Is the donated food perishable?

  1. Please do not donate expired items that you would not consume yourself.
  2. The Fridge room is open 24/7 and you may bring your donations inside using the new door that leads directly into the Fridge area at the Discipleship Center.
  3. Before you place your donation(s) into the fridge or freezer please consider the following:
    1. If this donation is a food item you made at home, or it is food left over from a small gathering, please attach a provided label to each container.
    2. The labels are in a clear tub on the top shelf of the pantry donation rack. Using the provided pen, please complete the label indicating the type of food, the donation date & any known allergens.
    3. If this donation was bought at a store and is clearly marked as to the contents and the expiration date, please place it in the fridge/freezer with like items. No St Mark Neighborhood Fridge label is needed.

Do you have a large amount of food left over from an event?

  1. Please contact the fridge team by leaving a message at 515-635-4962.
  2. A member of the team will respond promptly to arrange a time for you to deliver the food to the St Mark Fellowship Hall Kitchen. A team of volunteers will then divide the food into smaller containers, label it, and place your donation in the fridge or freezer.

THANK YOU for supporting the St Mark Neighborhood Fridge!

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out some of the frequently asked questions about our Neighborhood Fridge.

Who do we serve?

Anyone who needs food! We are in a unique position to get food to hungry people without requiring those receiving it fill out paperwork and provide us with personal information.

Who can donate?

Anyone can be part of the solution: wholesale distributers, grocery stores, convenience stores, hotels, event centers, farmers, restaurants, places of worship, etc.

Even you can help by dropping off food to the fridge.  Consider grabbing an extra item when you are grocery shopping to put into the fridge.

What are the liabilities?

The ‘Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act’ protects good faith donors and recipient agencies against liability, excepting only gross negligence and/or intentional misconduct. This bill was enacted in 1996 and is overseen by the FDA.  There has not been any litigation against a Neighborhood/Community Fridge or Food Pantry.

St. Mark Neighborhood Fridge