Free Thanksgiving meals, holiday food assistance in central Iowa

Looking for a free meal or food assistance in the Des Moines metro this Thanksgiving? Here’s what you need to know.

DES MOINES, Iowa — There are resources across central Iowa to help those in need get festive food on the table for Thanksgiving 2022: Thursday, Nov. 24.

Here’s where to find free meals and food assistance in the Des Moines metro for the holiday.

Need a holiday ham, turkey or chicken? Bidwell will provide Thanksgiving meat of choice to households who regularly receive the Bidwell food package.

Households are not eligible if they have already received a Thanksgiving service from another DMARC pantry. A valid photo ID is required for pick-up.

  • When: Nov. 1 through Thanksgiving, while supplies last
    • Pantry open Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm
  • Where: Bidwell Riverside Center, 1203 Hartford Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50315

While Hope Ministries has reached their capacity for Thanksgiving meal deliveries, the organization will serve a free Thanksgiving dinner on site.

All are welcome: no reservations, documentation or proof of income is necessary.

  • When: Thanksgiving Day, 12 pm to 1 pm
  • Where: Hope Cafe, 1310 6th Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50314

RELATED: Meals on Wheels helping tackle food insecurity during the holiday season

Parks Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Enjoy a hot meal this Thanksgiving, courtesy of the Parks Community. Choose between dine-in, pick-up or delivery.

No reservation is required for those dining in. To sign up for meal delivery or pick-up, call 515-875-5229 by Wednesday, Nov. 23 to 12 pm

Delivery is available to Des Moines residents only. There is a limit of eight meals per household.

  • When: Thanksgiving Day
    • Dine-in: 11 am
    • Pick-up: 11 am to 1 pm
    • Delivery: 9:30 am to 2 pm
  • Where: Chuck’s Restaurant, 3610 6th Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50313

RELATED: Aldi stores matching 2019 prices for Thanksgiving

St. Joseph Catholic Church (East Side Cluster of Churches)

Take your pick of a dine-in, drive-thru or delivery Thanksgiving meal this holiday.

Households must sign up and pre-order their meals by calling 515-943-2519. Meals are open to anyone; visitors are not required to provide documentation and proof of income is not necessary.

  • When: Thanksgiving Day
    • Drive-thru: 11 am
    • Dining Room: 12 pm
    • Delivery: Within 10-mile radius of the church
  • Where: 2107 E. 33rd Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50317
    • Drive-thru: Back parking lot
    • Dining room: School gym

Need a turkey to complete your Thanksgiving dinner? During the month of November, you can pick up a frozen turkey during scheduled pantry hours.

Anyone can receive a turkey, provided they show identification and have not used a different DMARC food pantry in the same month, according to Every Step.

  • When: November during scheduled pantry hours
    • Monday-Thursday, 9:30 am to 6:30 pm
    • Saturday, 8 am to 12 pm
  • Where: Urbandale Food Pantry, 7611 Douglas Ave., Suite 34, Des Moines, Iowa 50313

For information about upcoming Christmas and holiday programs, check out Every Step’s winter resources page and 211 Iowa’s holiday programs page.

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