Sunday thru Friday Meal

5:45 pm – 6:15 pm evening meal served

Saturday Meal

11:30 am – 12:15 pm midday meal served

Food at First meals are served every day no matter what the weather!

Everyone invited, no questions asked.

Everyone has their own reason for attending. The major focus is to help those who are not able to simultaneously meet their basic needs of food and shelter.


Food at First is located in the First Christian Church, back door, lower level, 611 Clark, Ames, Iowa 50010. Look for the Food at First van usually parked near the Food at First door.

Where does all this food come from? Food for the Food at First meal program is gleaned almost entirely from unsalable (but still very edible!) product that would otherwise be thrown away.  Read about our gleaning program.

Organizations and congregations who prepare and serve meals are encouraged to contribute whatever they feel is appropriate, in terms of monetary donations, but there is no requirement to contribute financially in order to participate in the Food At First meals.

Meal Volunteers

Two shifts of workers prepare the meals and serve / clean up after the meals everyday. Anyone 5th Grade, 10 years or older is welcome to sign up for a volunteer position, and FAF would love to have you. Over 1000 volunteers volunteer every year, many of them your neighbors. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have or don’t have.

Meal volunteer shifts – Sunday thru Friday

3:30 – 5:30 PM – preparation
5:30 – 7:15 PM – serve / clean up

Meal volunteer shifts – Saturday

9:30 – 11:30 AM – preparation
11:30 – 1:15 PM – serve / clean up

Meal Volunteer Groups

Numerous organizations & congregations provide crews for meals on a regular basis, including St. Cecilia Catholic, St. Thomas Catholic, ISU Dairy Science Club, Mary Greeley Medical Center, United Church of Christ – Congregational, St. John’s Episcopal, ISU Habitat for Humanity, several ISU classes, ISU Black Engineering Society, St. Patricks / Memorial Lutheran (Nevada), First United Methodist Church, Ames Noon Kiwanis, and Ames Noon Lions (every 5th Monday).  Groups are scheduled by contacting

Food At First is Ames Soup Kitchen – but we’re a very DIFFERENT kind of soup kitchen!  Everyone is welcome at Food at First, so we hope you will stop by soon, to volunteer or enjoy a meal or both.


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