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City and CISS Feed DSM Neighbors During Pandemic

City of Des Moines COVID-19 RepsonseDES MOINES, IOWA – Monday, June 22, 2020 – The Mulberry Street Café is coming to a neighborhood near you.

The City of Des Moines has teamed up with Central Iowa Shelter & Services (CISS) and local restaurants to provide $350,000 in free hot meals to Des Moines families and residents in need during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Eight Des Moines restaurants are collaborating on the Mulberry Street Café initiative and will provide meals to thousands of Des Moines residents this summer at more than eight distribution sites in neighborhoods throughout the City’s four wards.  

The participating restaurants in the Mulberry Street Café program are paid for each meal from $350,000 in COVID-19 relief funds provided by the City and administered by CISS.

“We knew we had a need during the community outbreak of the coronavirus – the great thing about this program is that it helps folks on two fronts,” said Mayor Frank Cownie. “We’re able to provide some business to Des Moines restaurants significantly impacted these past three months while providing nutritious, healthy meals to our residents who might need a little help right now.”

 The eight participating restaurants are 5 Spice Sisters, Big Red Truck, Catering Con Amor, El Fogon, Hotsy Totsy, Palm’s Caribbean Cuisine, Prep Kings and Tursi’s Latin King.

 “The number one reason why a person because homeless is because of a loss of income or employment,” said Melissa O’Neil, CEO Central Iowa Shelter & Services. “This is an opportunity for CISS to work with the City to prevent homelessness, feed hungry residents and give back to the small businesses who have supported the mission of CISS for 28 years.”

 For dates and locations of the Mulberry Street Café meal distribution program, go here and look for Emergency Food Distribution or go to and click on Assistance.

 About Central Iowa Shelter & Services
Since 1992 Central Iowa Shelter & Services’ mission is to provide low-barrier shelter, meals and support services at no cost to adults experiencing homelessness and to facilitate their move toward self-sufficiency. Approximately 2,000 women and men experiencing homelessness have received emergency shelter and supportive services to help them move beyond homelessness each year. For more information, go to


Al Setka
Communications Manager, City Manager’s Office 
(515) 283-4057

About the City of Des Moines
The City of Des Moines: Iowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 217,000 residents, 51+ neighborhoods, over 4,000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. The City of Des Moines stands to be a financially strong city with exceptional city services, fostering an involved community in a customer friendly atmosphere. Visit DSM.cityFacebook and Twitter for more information.