DES MOINES, Iowa — As food insecurities continue to challenge families across the Metro, there is now a place for to turn for free and healthy options, the Des Moines Public Library.

The library has two Community Fridges. One is at the Franklin Avenue Library. The other is at the Southside Library. They’re free and open to anyone anonymously. People can grab food and leave.

In addition to offering traditional nonperishable items like beans and macaroni, the library’s Community Fridges specialize in fruits and vegetables. They also occasionally offer proteins including fresh meat and eggs.

The Community Fridges are open when the libraries are open.

Nikki Hayder, the Supervising Librarian at the Franklin Avenue Library, said the program’s been a success since it began in late 2022.

She added it’s great the library has found yet another way to help its community.

“This just another piece for us in that role of providing and giving back to our community and supporting our community, but I think this has been especially gratifying right now because there is such a need,” Hayder said.

The libraries also accept community donations. People can donate Monday-Saturday when the libraries are open.

Hayder asks people don’t put food directly in the fridge. Bring them to the front desk so staff can inventory them.