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Here's where you can pick up a free meal for your children; carry-out also available from local restaurants

COVID-19 has shut down schools across the state. Many districts are making sure the students don't go hungry.

Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a State Public Health Disaster Emergency last week, ordering the closure of all dining areas in restaurants and bars through at least March 31. The order for bars and restaurants was later extended through April 7.

This comes as the latest set of closures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak that's been ravaging the country and the world.

School food options, local food pantries

Gov. Reynolds ordered all schools shut their doors for at least four weeks on March 15. While schools are closed, meals are still available.

Des Moines Public Schools is partnering with DMARC and the Food Bank of Iowa to provide food for kids and families who need it while the schools are shut down.  

You can find a full list of locations and times here.

Marshalltown Community Schools will also provide food for students who rely on school lunches to get fed.  They will have grab-and-go lunches at all school locations from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.  Availability will be communicated through their website and Facebook page.

In addition, Marshalltown Community Schools will start the "Meals Close to Home" program. It'll provide six bus routes to deliver meals to Marshalltown, and different parts of the district.

The Saydel Community School District is also offering free breakfast and lunch to all children 18 and under starting March 23.

Grab-and-go meals will be available from 11:30-1 p.m. in the parking lot or bus lane of each location. Children must be present.

Free Breakfast and Lunch for children ages 18 and younger. Starting March 23rd. See photo or this link on our website for more information. https://www.saydel.k12.ia.us/district/school-closure-meals.cfm

Starting Monday, March 23 the Urbandale Community School District will offer free 'to-go' breakfast and lunch for children 18 and under until school reopens. A child does not need to be a Urbandale CSD student to receive a free meal. 

Grab N’ Go Meal Locations:

  • Jensen Elementary 11:00 AM – 11:20 AM
  • Karen Acres Elementary 11:30 AM -11:50 AM 
  • Valerius Elementary 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM

Waukee Community Schools will offer free breakfast and lunch for pick up for children under the age of 18. This will begin Monday, March 23 and go thorugh April 10. 

It will be offered Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-noon at Windfield West Apartments and Sun Prairie Apartments.

The West Des Moines Community School District is offering home delivery as part of its grand-and-go meal program. The six meal sites are open 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Families can pick up meals for children ages 1 to 18 at any of the six sites with no ID or registration required "other than stating the name of your child's school or preschool if they are enrolled". Does not apply to children not in school yet, and the program is not limited to just WDMCS students.

Children do not have to be present in order for meals to be provided, the district said in a release.

Grocery stores


ALDI's new hours started Monday, with stores across the United States open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. 

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, all stores will be opening at 8:30 a.m. to allow the elderly and those with underlying conditions to shop first. 

Some stores may have limited hours to accommodate restocking and cleaning.


Beginning Wednesday, all Fareway stores and meat markets will be open Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The early closure will provide for additional cleaning and sanitation measures in our stores, as well as time for restocking inventory. As part of these new hours, the first hour of business from 8 to 9 a.m. will be reserved for those customers who are 65 and over, expecting mothers, those living with a serious chronic medical condition, and anyone with an underlying medical condition that increases the susceptibility to serious illness from COVID-19. 

"We appreciate the advance cooperation from our customers in respecting the hour reserved for those that are at higher risk," Fareway said in a statement.


All Hy-Vee locations will now operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until further notice, allowing for time to restock and sanitize.

Convenience stores will run during their normal hours, and all dining areas in Hy-Vee stores are now closed to the public.

Other notes from Hy-Vee:

  • Deliveries will now be made by third-party partners like Shipt and Door Dash (where available) in order to help in-store employees focus on pickup orders and other needs at the stores. Hy-Vee is asking customers who are able to do so to shop in stores so that the available Hy-Vee Aisles Online timeslots can be used for those who are unable to shop for themselves or have been advised by health care professionals to limit their public exposure.
  • Hy-Vee is suspending its weekly corporate ad circular that is distributed to all stores and found in many local newspapers. Due to the current high demand for many products, suppliers are unable to guarantee the fulfillment of certain products. Stores will honor the products featured if they are in stock.
  • An hour from 7-8 a.m. has been reserved for those 60 years old and up, expecting mothers and individuals with underlying health conditions.

“This is an unprecedented situation for all of us," Hy-Vee Chairman, CEO and President Randy Edeker said. "We are committed to doing all we can to keep our customers and employees healthy and safe, and to being the helpful smile in every aisle that is needed during this time.”


Reduced hours with stores closing by 9 p.m. daily; first hour of each day reserved for the elderly and those with underlying health concerns.Walmart

Walmart has changed the hours of all locations to 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.  Workers will work normal overnight shifts, but will spend that time cleaning, disinfecting and restocking.

Restaurants and bars

Gov. Reynolds has ordered all restaurants and bars close down their dining rooms through April 7. Establishments can still be open for drive-thru and carry-out services.

Below is a partial list of restaurants and bars in central Iowa who have released their plans for the public health emergency.

  • Hickory Park (Ames): Carry-out and carside pickup available, hours 11 a.m-7 p.m. until further notice. To place an order, call 515-232-8940.
  • Papa Keno’s Drake: Moving to take-out/delivery only until further notice.
  • Exile Brewing Co.: Curbside pick-up available
  • Barattas: Carry-out and delivery available.
  • Pizza Ranch: Free delivery or pickup available.
  • Christopher's Restaurant (Beaverdale): Curbside pickup available and delivery offered for the Beaverdale area only. Delivery available from 4-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To place an order, call 515-274-3694.
  • Centro (Des Moines): Closed through the end of the month.
  • Table 128 (Clive): Launching a take-out program with a limited menu to include two large salads, four fully-cooked entrees and one dozen cookies weekly. A 5-week subscription is $80.
  • Gusto Pizza Co: New operating hours of Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Burgie's Coffee & Tea Company (Ames): Carry-out and drive thru only. Hours remain 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • The Dam Pub: Curbside pickup available. Full menu available at dampubdsm.com.
  • Jethro's: All Jethro’s BBQ Metro locations are open for carry out, curb side Togo and delivery through DoorDash, Grub Hub and Uber Eats from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Louie's Wine Dive: The dining room and bar are closed, but fresh to-go meals cooked from scratch, including gluten-free options.   
  • The Cheese Shop of Des Moines: Cheese & meat plates, monger boards & our full menu available for take out! You can also call ahead and place an order.
  • Eatery A: closed until the end of the month
  • Mullets: full menu delivery as well as family menu anywhere within 5 miles. Must a be a $20 minimum order. Visit Mulletsdm.com for full menu. This will be happening every day 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • Taste Place Chinese Restaurant (Ames): Offering takeout and delivery for $3. Delivery for orders more than $35 is free.
  • Grounds for Celebration in Windsor Heights: Continuing to fulfill drive-thru, takeout and curbside orders. 
  • Perkins Des Moines locations: open Monday through Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. offering curbside pickup

Boone County restaurants are also offering take-out, drive-thru or delivery. See the photo below:

Credit: Boone County Chamber of Commerce
Restaurants open for drive-thru, carryout and delivery in Boone County

RELATED: Burger King offering free kids meals amid coronavirus pandemic

Greetings Gustomers- At Gusto Pizza Co, sanitation and the safety o... f our team members and guests has always been our top priority. With growing concerns of the Coronavirus Pandemic, we have implemented additional sanitation protocol in conjunction with our already strenuous cleaning standards.

Have information for a restaurant or bar to submit? Email news@weareiowa.com or text Local 5 at 515-457-1026.

RELATED: Gov. Reynolds orders closures of bars, restaurants, gyms as part of coronavirus public health emergency