Food at First
The Food At First program, in Ames, Iowa, currently consists of two parts: a daily free meal program, plus a perishable food pantry known to the community as the Food at First Free Market.
Food at First is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing meals to anyone who is hungry, no questions asked. FAF serves a hot meal every day of the year. Most meals are served in the evening and all meals are served carry-out/to-go outside the First Christian Church in downtown Ames. FAF also has a food pantry called the Free Market open 3 days a week. Most everything FAF serves would otherwise have been thrown away by local grocery stores and food services. Instead, it all gets turned into wonderful meals for those who are hungry.
In 2019 44,000 families were served through the Free Market, and 27,000 meals were served. Food at First operates on donations from individuals and businesses. These donations go towards FAF cost and space sharing agreement with First Christian Church, equipment repairs, a single paid employee plus cleaning supplies, paper products and other items that are not normally donated.
UPDATE: packaging as carry-out is costing the organization $350/week in paper products, a new expense they didn’t have pre-Covid.