Food At First is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization consisting of a daily free meal program and perishable food distribution known to the community as the Food at First Free Market. FAF is dedicated to providing meals to anyone who is struggling with hunger and food insecurity, no questions asked.
Almost everything Food at First serves is made from food gleaned from local grocery stores, restaurants, and Iowa State University. Not only does Food at First help those who are struggling with hunger and food insecurity, it helps reduce food waste in Ames. In 2019, 43,000 individuals were served through the Free Market, and 26,500 meals were served through the Free Meal program. Food at First operates on donations from individuals and businesses. These donations go towards Food at First building expenses, equipment repairs, one paid employee, cleaning supplies, paper products and other items that are not normally donated. It costs Food at First $1.35 to provide one free meal and a $100 donation can feed 74 guests.
Our mission at Food at First is simple, to feed people struggling with hunger and food insecurity and recycle food.