Food At First

Volunteers are needed once a month, on the 4th Saturday of the month from 10:00 to 1PM. Please contact Ed Gillott ( to volunteer to help out and watch the events calendar for reminders of the Saturdays for which St. John's is on duty!

The Food at First Program is a free community meal served at the First Christian Church at 6th and Kellogg Ave (this is the new location as of April 1, 2015) Everyone is invited to the meal, and 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.

The St. John’s parish serves the noon meal on the 4th Saturday of each month. We begin preparation and set up at 10:30 a.m. The meal is served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. This is the time period when we need the most helpers to serve the meal and begin clean-up. We finish clean-up by 1:00 p.m. If you cannot be there for the entire period, it is usually not a problem.

Here is some general information on the program. The food is purchased from the Food Bank of Iowa, as well as through local grocers and wholesalers with whom Food at First has special arrangements to save us money. Organizations and congregations who prepare and serve meals are encouraged to contribute whatever they feel is appropriate, in terms of food and monetary donations, but there is no requirement to contribute financially in order to participate in the Food At First ministry.

Meals are currently served on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights, and Saturday midday, no matter what the weather! (5:30 - 6:15 on weekdays, 11:30 - 12:15 Saturdays).

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, Ames SHEF (Students Helping to End Famine), St. Patricks / Memorial Lutheran (Nevada), and First United Methodist Church.

Local businesses have generously donated food and supplies, including Barilla, Hy-Vee, Mayfair Cleaners, North Grand Farmers Market, Ames Downtown Farmers Market, Plant a Row for the Hungry, Panera, Cub Foods, Hickory Park Restaurant, Harmony Farms (Nevada), Oxford Farms (Huxley), Story Book Orchard (Story City), and DeMoss Farms.

We are always looking for new people to help with the meal.