Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for a meal at home with family. But if you want to break bread with your community, plenty of places in Iowa offer that, too.
So if you’re looking for a free community meal, courtesy of the kindness of your fellow Iowans, here are eight around Iowa coming up.
A quick note: We have not included the MANY Iowa churches that host free Thanksgiving meals, nor are we including potlucks or paid meals (this list would be unwieldy if we tried). If you’re not seeing a free meal near you, check this list for your nearest food pantry.
Des Moines – Parks Community Thanksgiving Dinner
When: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 23
Where: Chuck’s Restaurant, 3610 Sixth Ave., Des Moines
A tradition going back at least three decades, the Parks Community Thanksgiving Dinner will provide free meals to folks on a first-come, first-serve basis. More information here.
Des Moines – Winter Warmth Event
When: 1-6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 23
Where: Fred Maytag Scout Center, 6123 Scout Trail, Des Moines
The fourth-annual event—which gives out a free hot meal from Hot Tamale Catering AND free winter gear from Clothing the Children—is hosted by Do Good Des Moines. More information here.
Cedar Falls – Queersgiving
When: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16
Where: Cedar Valley Unitarian Universalists, 3912 Cedar Heights Dr., Cedar Falls
Cedar Falls – Friendsgiving
When: Thursday, Nov. 23, beginning at noon
Where: Mary Lou’s Bar and Grill, 2719 Center St., Cedar Falls
Mary Lou’s hosts an annual Friendsgiving and provides the feast (drinks available for purchase), along with an open pool table and other games. More information here.
Waterloo – Mike and Leona Adams Thanksgiving Dinner
When: 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 20
Where: UAW Local 838 Union Hall, 2615 Washington St., Waterloo
The 42nd annual event sponsored by Veridian Credit Union has already closed its meal pickup for this year, but extra meals may be available starting at 7 p.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis. All meals are curbside pick-up only and include turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, dinner roll and a slice of pumpkin pie. More information here.
Waterloo – Thanksgiving Community Meal
When: Wednesday, Nov. 22, from 4 p.m. until the food is gone.
Where: Flip’s, 921 Broadway St., Waterloo
Hosted by Cedar Valley Thrift and Outreach Outlet and Flip’s, the menu features turkey, ham, pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, greens, sweet potatoes, gravy, dressing, corn, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce and a drink. It is dine-in, carryout and delivery by request for those who are unable to get there. More information here.
Atlantic – Free Atlantic Community Thanksgiving
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 23
Where: Cass County Iowa State University Extension
It’s the second-annual Community Thanksgiving presented by Holaday Baking Company. More information here.
Fonda – Thanksgiving Dinner
When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 23
Where: Hwy 7 Cafe, 815 Queen St., Fonda
The annual Thanksgiving meal will be take-out only, and those who can are asked to make a free-will donation to cover costs. The meal will include turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, salad and a dinner roll. More information here.
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