Free Meal

Daily Free Meal

Covid-19 Daily Free Meal Change Starting Wednesday March 18, 2020

Starting Wednesday Mar 18, 2020 The FAF Daily Free Meal will be carry-out to the FAF Main entrance, outside in the parking lot at 611 Clark. The times will remain the same. This change is until further notice and hope it is very temporary until Covid-19 subsides.

Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri Free Meal

5:45 pm – 6:15 pm Free meal served every evening (except Sat)

Saturday Free Meal

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

Food at First free meals are served every day no matter what the weather! FAF hasn’t missed a meal in a decade.

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. Yes, there are many reasons, maybe you are lonely, or can’t manage today’s meal for any reason, or maybe no reason at all. So join FAF for a free delicious well balanced hot meal. Everyone is Welcome.


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.

Food at First serving line April 24 2019 with 7 volunteers
FAF evening meal serving line with 7 awesome volunteers serving the meal on April 24 2019.

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.

Meal volunteer shift times – Sunday thru Friday PM

3:30 – 5:30 PM – preparation volunteers arrive by 3:30 PM

5:30 – 7:15 PM – serve / clean up volunteers arrive by 5:30 PM

Meal volunteer shift times – Saturday AM

9:30 – 11:30 AM – preparation volunteers arrive by 9:30 AM

11:30 – 1:15 PM – serve / clean up volunteers arrive by 11:30 AM

FAF would love to have you. 1000+ volunteers volunteer every year, many of them your neighbors. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have or don’t have. Its fun, and there will be other volunteers there to help your experience.

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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