Business
The 2020 Global Insurance Symposium scheduled for April 21-23 is canceled, organizers announced this morning. The GIA will host a virtual pitch event for accepted insuretech startups April 22 from 3:30-5 p.m. CST. More information and attendee registration for the pitch event is available online. Participants in this year’s Global Insurance Accelerator cohort are now fully remote, managing director Nicole Gunderson said in a statement

The Greater Des Moines Partnership and Catch Des Moines are partnering to launch the DSM Local Challenge, a new initiative designed to showcase customer support of local metro businesses. Individuals are encouraged to post photos to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter showing how they support local small businesses, and tag three friends challenging them to do the same using the verbiage “I support (name of business)” with the hashtag #DSMlocalchallenge. 

The Iowa Rural Development Council is postponing the 2020 Iowa Rural Summit until August, the organization announced today. The summit will be held at the Hotel Kirkwood in Cedar Rapids Aug. 19-21; attendees unable to make the new dates may request a refund. Registration is still available online

Education
The Waukee Community Schools Nutrition Services Department will begin offering to-go lunch and breakfast packages for children under the age of 18 from March 23 to April 10, the district announced today. Pickup is available Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Windfield West Apartments in Waukee and Sun Prairie Apartments in West Des Moines. Children must be present to receive meals. More information and ongoing updates are available online

The Des Moines Area Community College announced a college-wide cancellation of spring semester commencement ceremonies due to the impact of COVID-19. The announcement affects the Des Moines ceremonies to be held at Wells Fargo Arena, the Boone Campus commencement and the Carroll Campus commencement. All graduating students will receive their diploma in the weeks following end of term, and may attend a future rescheduled event or a future graduation ceremony within a year of their official date. Updates are available online

Arts and Culture
Oakridge Neighborhood 
is seeking support to provide food, cleaning products and critical operations for the neighborhood’s 1,100 residents, nearly 90% of whom make less than $20,000 a year, CEO Teree Caldwell-Johnson wrote in a letter to the community. The full letter is available online.

Goodwill of Central Iowa and Central Iowa Shelter & Services are partnering to hold a drop-off donation drive this weekend at seven metro Goodwill locations to help the homeless with items they need to be safe and healthy as they are housed, the organizations announced this afternoon. CISS is identifying housing for clients who are over 60 or are otherwise vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19. More information on the drive and requested items is available online