The current Food at First program began as an outreach activity of First United Methodist Church, Ames Iowa, during Lent (March) of 2003. There was an immediate recognition of the need to expand beyond the Lenten season, and meals have been served continuously since that time!
They were served on Thursday evenings until December of 2004, when St. Cecilia Church members stepped up and began serving a meal every Tuesday. It was at this point that the name was changed to Food At First.
The name has at least two meanings:
* the obvious one – that food is being served at First United Methodist Church!
* the less obvious one – that at first, it’s about food, but over time, it’s more about community and helping each other to move beyond present circumstances
The program is growing quickly, as other individuals and organizations step forward to help meet the needs of our brothers and sisters throughout the community.
Update on 2/24/2005: The FUMC Advisory Council agreed to allow expansion of the program to four days per week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday midday).
Update on 3/12/2006: The FAF Advisory Board conferred with FUMC groups and individuals, and determined that it was practical to add a Sunday night meal to the line-up, at the same time as the other meals.
Update on 10/10/2008: After another round of discussions, the FAF Advisory Board decided to add Friday nights to the meal line-up, at the same time as the other meals.