Des Moines: Support Community Fridges

If you’ve been following the nonsense that is the City of Des Moines’ Food Security Task Force, you’ll know they are partnering with an (alleged) sexual predator to bolster his business, and they’ve rejected real solutions from someone who is actually feeding the community, Monika Owczarski, owner of Sweet Tooth Farm.

On her urban farm, Monika provides a community fridge that is beyond successful. Several other community fridges are popping up around the city. However, one is under threat of fines from the city if it is not moved from the front yard of a property–where it is accessible to all . . . which is the point of provided food security resources–to the back yard of the property.

The North Des Moines Community Fridge is different from other community bridge’s only because of zoning laws. But hunger doesn’t give a single fuck about zoning laws. And the city needs to re-evaluate the law before removing a food source for the hungry.

So, if you want to help, there are a few things you can do:

This is particular important because both Sweet Tooth’s fridge and a Little Free Pantry in DSM have been vandalized in the last month. It’s pretty clear someone doesn’t want the hungry to eat, which is monstrous. So, yeah. You’re needed here. The most powerful thing you can do is contact your city council member!

Weekly Wholeness Update: Self-Care Forever

Wholeness through Relaxation

I’m getting my first massage since December 2019 (everything on me hurts), and I’m giving Inner Space’s Salt Lounge a try for the first time in the hopes that it clears out my tree-pollen soaked sinuses. Beyond that, I’m indulging in my hobbies: Cubs baseball (nine-game stretch!), virtually attending a gender equity and finance conference, and trying new-to-me foods.

While the conference will get me riled up and experiencing new things will make me scurred, I’ll be feeding my wholeness by making sure I indulge in humanity. I hope you’re joining me in this! Tell me about your self-care plans this week!

Wholeness through Goals

As mentioned in a series of Instagram stories on Monday (I’m thinking about moving all IG stories here once they expire, but I digress), Hubster and I post-vaccination vacationed in downtown Chicago over the weekend, and my soul sang an entire damn musical about rejuvenation, and not the kind the beauty industry tries to sell. I mean real, spiritual, world-connectedness, humanity-nourishing rejuvenation. I often say the end of Navy Pier is my soul-reset spot, but Navy Pier is still closed, so we didn’t get there. Turns out, maybe it’s just anywhere with above floor fifteen along Lake Shore Drive.

The view from our hotel floor. I can see the end of Navy Pier. Maybe that was enough?

I love Des Moines, and I’m weirdly defensive about Iowa, but after this trip, it hit me how much I hate this state. I tried. I really tried to love it here. After living in Kansas and coming back, I did love it here for several years because I knew how shitty it could be elsewhere.

But I need to be in a place where tobacco-chewing White dudes in beat-up White pickups aren’t coal-rolling people for having Bernie stickers. I need a lot less Trump nonsense in my life, and a lot more “I ain’t got time for your shit, but in a friendly way” people who get out of your way, let you do your thing, and don’t try to control what bathroom you use. You know. Chicagoans.

Sadly, we can’t move out of state for some time. Our parents are aging, and both moms have had major health issues this year. We stay for them.

If we’re going to stay, I decided I need to remember what makes me vibrate on my favorite frequency. So, I set (or really reset) new goals:

  1. Seek out new experiences in DSM
  2. Improve my physical health
  3. Revamp my finances

Later this week, I’ll expand on these and what they mean for Whole Damn Woman and maybe for you!

Wholeness through Community a.k.a. All the Fucking Food

Y’all! I have SO MANY FOOD DATABASE UPDATES for this week. I have at least 40. Shit’s getting real! I’ll have those probably tomorrow, but I also planned a full database update tomorrow, so it’s gonna take me all damn day. Still. It’s worth it. Knowing what new stuff we have helps me with connecting with the community.

I’m excited to see what all you plan to try this summer. Though, I do caution you. I’m still not dining in. This is all food trucks, take out, delivery, and *maybe* patios. Do local restaurants a favor and be kind to them. Staffing is super low, diners are super assholey, and serving minimum wage is still only $4.35.

Beyond that, I’m finally delving into local food trucks, specifically taco trucks. Because taco trucks were so heavily stigmatized during my childhood (I was taught they were drug dealers . . . not racist at all), I’ve long avoided them. This year, fuck that. I’m gonna try all the things! This week, I’m trying Tacos Degollado (Tacos slain? Tacos beheaded? Tacos that slay? What even does that mean?).

I’m also picking up some yums from Bread by Chelsa B this week. Long live the home baker!

Tell me what you’re eating this week! I wanna know what you’re doing to stay connected to your community.

Financial Wholeness + COVID-19 = *crying*

It’s wonderful to want to support small businesses in your community especially if you’re viewing IG story feeds like mine and feel that pull. That said, it’s also easy to feel pressured to support businesses when you don’t have the means. While this might seem counter to everything I’m posting on IG, it’s OK to not spend money!

If you’re worried about how you will feed yourself and your kids, supporting local businesses is plainly not a priority. Please connect as much as possible to those in your community. A lot of us are trying to share resources to help keep people in need fed and safe. Keep an eye out for those both on IG and (eventually) here. I’ll start collecting resources and sharing them.

If you have the privilege of not worrying where your next meal will come from, you might consider saving the money you aren’t using on gas. No, interest rates are not in your favor, but having an emergency fund helps.

You might also consider investing. My favorite source of financial advice is Bravely Go, owned and operated by Kara Perez. She makes financial literacy accessible. I’d never invested in the stock market before this year because I thought it was for rich white men. Thanks to her, I’m giving it a try. I have only made about $30 this year, and $18.25 is invested through an investment app. The bad news? I’m down to $14. The good news? Bravely Go taught me investing is for the long haul.

The point is even in an uncertain economy, there are ways to advocate for your financial well-being, which is a part of what makes a whole you. Even if you’re anti-capitalism (and trust me, I’m not a fan of it these days), it’s better to understand how that system works, so you can use it against the jerks hoarding money.

And if you do have a few spare bucks, consider buying food for food banks before you grab that latte. If you can do both, even better! Community care and self-care are equally important!

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