Food at First Newsletter April 2022

Food at First Happenings

Keeping you in the Loop

Food at First continues to serve a hot meal every single day of the year and opens our free perishable food pantry three times a week. Our year end totals for Free Meals and Free Market include:

  • 35,213 total meals served in 2021
  • 22,231 clients for Free Market in 2021

Renovations to the dining room, market room, and kitchen were completed by the end of 2021 and are now able to be enjoyed by both our volunteers and our clients. Thank you to everyone who supported this large-scale project!

We are proud to be living out our mission, of feeding people who are struggling with hunger and food insecurity, and recycling food. No questions asked, everyone welcome.

Volunteering & Donations


In order to keep our programs active, we always need volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering, please visit our website,, and click on the “Volunteers” tab to sign up for a shift! There are step by step instructions on how to sign up, what shift times volunteers are needed, and what is involved during a volunteer shift. Thank you for volunteering your time!

Donations At Food at First, we depend on your donations to serve our clients! Visit our website,, and click the “Donate” button, or mail your donations to Food at First, P.O. Box 87 Ames, IA 50010. Thank you!

Volunteer Group Highlight

St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church Members

When Food at First began, meals were only served once a week in downtown Ames. Volunteers quickly started recognizing that there was a need to provide meals more consistently to clients. In December of 2004, St. Cecilia’s Church members stepped up and began serving an additional meal each Tuesday at Food at First. They have been serving every Tuesday since.

On Tuesdays, St. Cecilia’s Church members cover the Head Chef, plus the entire Prep and Serving Team. There are a total of five Head Chefs, 22 food Prep volunteers, and 38 Serving/Cleanup volunteers from St. Cecilia’s Church who volunteer on a rotating weekly basis. One of the volunteers, who has volunteered at Food at First going on 10 years, stated, “Over these years, I have enjoyed working with so many fellow St. Cecilia parishioners on my team, in addition to many others from the community who volunteer at FAF. I treasure the friendships I have made as well as the sense of knowing that I have been able to help so many guests at FAF. My favorite times are when I see guests outside of FAF and because I have developed a relationship with them, it’s like seeing family! Our FAF family!”

Another volunteer said, “FAF demonstrates a commitment to building a stronger community through teamwork, conversation, and even food waste reduction. It is wonderful to be a part of that!”

We are so thankful for the dedication and generosity that St. Cecilia Church members who contribute to Food at First!

Connect with us!

Whether you are a client, volunteer, or both, feel free to reach out!

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