Free Holiday Meals

Free Holiday Meals

published 12/10/2018

Here is a list of churches and community centers offering free meals during the holidays. The list is organized by district (section of Iowa) then date. Thanks to everyone who has shared this information with us! If you would like to add a meal to the list, please fill out this form. God bless you!

- Iowa Conference Communications Ministry Team
To find a meal near you, click the district below:

North Central
South Central
East Central

Northwest District

  • Dec. 15, 2018, 5 p.m. – Hope UMC, 306 2nd Ave. NW, Pocahontas, IA 50574 — Free Saturday Supper the third Saturday of every month followed by bingo. Prizes are normally items not covered by other assistance as well as some fun items. December will be a Christmas meal and party.
  • Dec. 19, 2018, 5:30 p.m. – Spirit Lake United Methodist - Wesley Place, 1815 Hill Ave, Spirit Lake, IA 51351
  • Dec. 25, 2018: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. — Calvary United Methodist Church, 679 W Okoboji Grove Rd, Arnold’s Park, IA 5133
  • Dec. 27, 2018: 5 - 6 p.m. — Grace United Methodist Church,  311 2nd Ave W., Spencer, IA, 51301— Grace United Methodist Church hosts a community meal on the last Thursday of every month.

Southwest District

  • Dec. 25, 2018: 12 p.m. — Greenfield United Methodist Church, 108 SW 5th Street, Greenfield, IA 50849
  • Dec. 20, 2018: 5:30 - 7 p.m. — Red Oak Presbyterian Church, 511 E. Coolbaugh Street, Red Oak, IA 51566 — A community meal is provided every Thursday evening. (The Red Oak UM Church provides a meal once a month.)
  • Dec. 30, 2018: 4:30 p.m. — First United Methodist Church, 200 Church Street, Shenandoah, IA 51601 — Free sacks of groceries will be handed out after the meal.

North Central

  • Dec. 25, 2018: 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. — Inter-Faith Fellowship Community Action Christmas Community Dinner, Evangelical Free Church, 110 Hwy 18, Clear Lake, IA 50428 — Community Christmas dinner will be served at no charge, however a free will donation will be accepted. 
  • Dec. 25, 2018: 11:30 a.m. — Community United Methodist Church, 337 SW 2nd Street, Ogden, IA 50212 — If possible, please call our office at 515 275-4015 before December 18th so we can be ready to serve you. Office hours are 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. or you are welcome to leave a message anytime.
  • Dec. 25, 2018: 11:00 a.m. - 1 p.m. — Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 2502 So. Jefferson Ave, Mason City, IA 50401 —   Freewill donation, all are welcome.
  • Dec. 31, 2018: 5:30 - 6 p.m. — First United Methodist Church, 1036 7th Street, Nevada, IA 50201


  • Dec. 19, 2018: 5 - 7 p.m. — Monroe United Methodist Church, 407 N Monroe, Monroe, IA 50170 — A community meal is held every third Wednesday of the month.
  • Dec. 24, 2018: 4:45 p.m. — Trinity Las Americas United Methodist Church, 1548 8th Street, Des Moines, IA 50314 — Following the meal, there will be a candlelight service with communion. All are invited.
  • Dec. 25, 2018: 12 p.m. — Grace United Methodist Church, 607 Clay Street, Brooklyn, IA 52211
  • Dec. 25, 2018: 12 - 2 p.m. — First United Methodist Church, 206 SW Walnut Street, Ankeny, IA 50023 —  Christmas Day Potluck, main dish, drinks and table service provided. (bring a side if you're able.)
  • Dec. 26, 2018: 5:30 p.m. — Burns United Methodist Church, 1909 Martin Luther King Pkwy, Des Moines, IA 50314 — A short devotional time will be held before the meal.
  • Dec. 31, 2018: 5:30-6:30 p.m. — Waukee United Methodist Church, 675 Walnut Street, Waukee, IA 50263 — Free community pizza dinner.

South Central

  • Dec. 19, 2018: 6 p.m. — Corydon United Methodist Church, 213 West Jackson Street, Corydon, IA 50060 —  People will be invited to take home leftovers and to sign up for a gift card raffle. This supper is sponsored and hosted by Christ Community United Methodist Parish, which includes churches in Corydon, Allerton, Lineville, Millerton, and New Zion.
  • Dec. 25, 2018: 12 p.m. — First United Methodist Church, 313 East Montgomery Street, Knoxville, IA 50138 — Free lunch with carryout and deliveries available.
  • Dec. 25, 2018: 12 p.m. — First United Methodist Church, 309 E Jefferson Street, Winterset, IA 50273 — A free meal will be served at noon, but please make reservations by calling Phyllis Kaldenberg at 462-4731 or the church office at 462-2912. You may pick also up your meal from 11 - 11:30 a.m.
  • Dec. 26, 2018: 5 - 6 p.m. — First United Methodist Church, 923 Roland Ave., Chariton, IA 50049 — Free Monthly Meal held in Fellowship Hall from Nov. through March. Call for more information - 641-774-5023.


  • Dec. 12, 2018: 5 - 6 p.m. — Heritage United Methodist Church, 1201 230th Street, Waverly, IA 50677 —  The meal is served every Wednesday. People may leave a free-will donation if they wish.
  • Dec. 16, 2018: 5 - 6 p.m. — United Church of Christ, 630 State Street, Osage, IA 50461 — Shared Table is a monthly, free meal served at the UCC fellowship hall. Eight churches take turns preparing and serving a hot meal and with good fellowship on the third Sunday of each month.
  • Dec. 19, 2018: 5 - 6 p.m. — First United Methodist Church, 614 Randolph Street, Waterloo, IA 50702 —  Our Christmas Dinner with Neighbors is a special sit-down meal with members of the congregation serving a delicious dinner at the table. There will be Christmas gifts for all who attend.
  • Dec. 19, 2018: 5 - 6 p.m. — Fredericksburg United Methodist Church, 111 S Hamilton Ave, Fredericksburg, IA 50630 —  On Wednesdays during the school year the Fredericksburg UM Church offers meals to the community.
  • Dec. 20, 2018: 5 - 6:15 p.m. — St. Benedict Catholic Church, 307 W Main, Decorah, IA 52101 — Decorah Community Meal is offered the first and third Thursday of each month. A vegetarian/Gluten free dish is offered at each meal (prepared in the First UM Church kitchen).
  • Ongoing, every Monday (Except Christmas Eve): 4:30 - 6 p.m. — Kimball Avenue United Methodist Church, 1207 Kimball Avenue, Waterloo, IA 50702

East Central

  • Dec. 13, 2018: 5 - 7 p.m. — Bertram Township Hall, 211 Angle Street, Bertram, IA 52403
  • Dec. 20, 2018: 5 - 6:30 p.m. — Anamosa United Methodist Church, 201 S Ford Street, Anamosa, IA 52205 — Free community supper each month on the fourth Thursday of the month. (The date changes near Thanksgiving and Christmas.) This is run by an ecumenical group from the community and is a non-profit.
  • Dec. 22, 2018: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. — First United Methodist Church, 607 Lynn Street, Tipton IA, 52772 — This is a Shared Blessings Meal each 2nd, 4th, and 5th Saturdays of the month.
  • Dec. 24, 2018: 12 - 2 p.m. — St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 1340 3rd Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403 —  St. Paul’s free Christmas Eve Day Dinner is for everyone. Meals are also delivered to shut-ins. Dessert and games and more fellowship will be offered after dinner and guests are welcome to join a Family Worship service at 2:30 p.m. Call United Way 739-4211 (211) to make a reservation or if homebound to have a meal delivered.
  • Dec. 25, 2018: 3:30 p.m. — St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 1340 3rd Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403 — Please join the African National Christmas celebration and meal at St. Paul's United Methodist Church.
  • Daily Meals: Breakfast every day at 7:30 a.m.; Lunch: Mon. - Sat. at 11:30 a.m.; Dinner: Mon., Tues., and Fri. at 5 p.m., Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. — Dubuque Rescue Mission, 398 Main Street, Dubuque, IA 52001
  • Sunday and Monday Dinner (ongoing): 6 p.m. — St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 1199 Main Street, Dubuque, IA 52001
  • Wednesday Night Dinner (ongoing): 5 p.m. — Hope House Catholic Worker, 1592 Locust Street, Dubuque, IA 52001
  • Thursday Night Dinner (ongoing): 5:30 p.m. — St. Patrick's Church, 1425 Iowa Street, Dubuque, IA 52001
  • Saturday Breakfast (ongoing): 7:30 a.m. — First Congregational United Church of Christ, 255 W 10th Street, Dubuque, IA 52001 — Breakfast served every Saturday except on food giveaway days.
  • Weekday Lunch (ongoing): 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. — Dubuque Area Labor Harvest, 423 W Locust Street, Dubuque, IA 52001 — Free for seniors 60+, reservations recommended. Call 563-588-1415 for more information.
  • Fifth Sunday Lunch (ongoing): 12 p.m. — St. Matthews Church, 1780 White Street, Dubuque, IA 52001 — Lunch served every 5th Sunday of the month. Call ahead at 563-543-7065.


  • Daily meals: Jesus Mission Church, 509 Mulberry Ave, Muscatine, IA 52761

Budget Team update from Bill Poland

Budget Team update from Bill Poland

published 11/30/2018
In the most recent episode of Iowa Conference Conversations, Rev. Bill Poland describes the work of the Budget Review team and its proposals. The Budget Team has been tasked to recommend a 2020 budget that is missionally-directed by the three Strategic Priorities adopted by the Annual Conference (2013). The Team has also been tasked to propose expense reductions by $1 million.

District Fundraising Challenge

District Fundraising Challenge

published 11/12/2018


 Several weeks ago, a group of eleven clergy and laity from Iowa visited Africa University in Old Mutare, Zimbabwe. Africa University (AU) was founded in 1992 as a United Methodist-related university and draws students from countries all over the African continent. Several of our Iowa clergy are graduates of AU.

We stayed at the Ubuntu Retreat Centre, which was completed several years ago and was funded by United Methodists in the West Michigan (now Michigan) Conference. The Ubuntu Centre houses visiting professors, mission teams, AU board members, conference attendees, and other visitors. 

Upon our arrival, our team noticed that the room designated as the kitchen in the Ubuntu Centre was not finished, which means that all meals have to be transported from the main university kitchen to the Ubuntu Centre. We were so impressed and blessed by our time at Africa University and the hospitality of the Ubuntu Centre that we decided to challenge our eight districts in Iowa to help raise money to furnish the kitchen at an estimated cost of $40,000. We are inviting each district to raise $5,000 by the time of the Iowa Annual Conference in June. We will then offer our gifts together at one of our worship services. 

Please feel free to be creative in your fundraising! To begin our challenge, Gary and I have donated $1,000, which will be split across the eight districts. Thank you for your continuing support for AU.
Bishop Laurie and Rev. Gary Haller
Rev. Darline Balm-Demmel
Rev. Ron and Beth Carlson
Rev. Lilian Gallo-Seagren
Rev. Kiboko Kiboko 
Rev. Carol Kress
Rev. Ben Wedeking
Rev. Paul and Rev. Gayle Wilcox