The Des Moines Area Religious Council has begun distributing food boxes through the fifth round of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farmers to Families Food Box Program. The distribution began on Monday and will continue through at least the end of February. According to a news release, there is a possibility of the program being extended through April. DMARC participated in the first four rounds of the program from late May through December. Additional funding for the fifth round of the program was included in the latest federal COVID-19 relief package approved by Congress in December. The boxes contain 20 pounds of fresh produce, meat dairy products and a gallon of milk. They are distributed through DMARC’s network of 14 partner food pantries and more than 30 mobile food pantry locations. Nearly 2,400 boxes are expected to be distributed each week.

Iowa Stops Hunger is a yearlong Business Publications Corp. initiative to bring awareness and action to food insecurity in Iowa. Read additional stories on Iowastopshunger.com.