November 2017 Recipient: Food at First
The Food At First program (in Ames, Iowa) currently consists of two parts: a free meal program and a perishable food pantry.
The free meal program serves seven meals per week and is open to anyone who is hungry, no questions asked. Most are evening meals and all are served at First Christian Church in downtown Ames. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the program is the source of food: almost everything that is served would otherwise have been thrown away by local grocery stores and food services but has been turned into wonderful, tasty meals! Because of that, there is PLENTY of food for anyone who could use a little help.
The perishable food pantry takes the thousands of pounds of great food that are left over (AFTER taking what we need for use in the meals) and gives it away to folks who need it. Distribution happens at what is called a “Free Market,” which now has two locations: 611 Clark Ave (First Christian Church) and 3626 Ontario St. (Trinity Reformed Church). Because the food is perishable, it is collected and given away on the same day – distributions are from 4:45 to 5:30 PM every Monday and Thursday at First Christian Church, and 10:00 to 10:30 on Saturday mornings at BOTH locations.