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Food banks, free groceries and pantries Polk County and Des Moines Iowa

Find where and how to get free food near you in Des Moines Iowa or Polk County. There are a number of charities and churches that have food pantries or soup kitchens. The centers, most of which are non-profit, can generally offer short term help each day such as free groceries and also information on longer term assistance programs, including as applications to SNAP food stamps, Meals on Wheels or other benefits. Also find a phone number at the bottom of the page for more free food programs.

The free food pantries near you in Polk County may be able to serve the low-income meals, provide free food, groceries, and other support as well, such as referrals, clothing, and holiday assistance. Many of the pantries are open only on certain days and have limited hours. It is usually best to call in advance before stopping by one of the Des Moines area food banks.

Even if a center can’t meet your specific need, they can usually refer individuals or families to other Iowa assistance programs or local charities. For example, learn about options such as SNAP food stamps, low income housing, school lunches, and local thrift stores and clothing closets.

AIDS Project of Central Iowa, Food Pantries
Location: 711 East 2nd Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Phone number - (515) 284-0245
This location focuses on people with HIV or AIDs. It provides them with food, support, and information on other services too, such as medical care and financial aid for their condition.

Amazing Grace Ministries and Outreach
Address: 1903 53rd Street
Des Moines, IA 50310
Main phone number is (515) 277-9062

Bidwell-Riverside Center
1203 Hartford Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50315
(515) 244-6251
Helps individuals in a limited area of Polk County Iowa. Residents of the south side of Des Moines, including zip codes of 50315, 50320, 50321, 50309 and 50317, can stop by for food, meals, and information on social services and government assistance.




Caring Hands of Bethel
Address: 1544 East University Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50316
Telephone number - (515) 266-1871

Caring Hands Outreach Center
201 9th Street North East
Altoona, IA 50009
Dial (515) 967-4533 to get information on hours of food distribution.

Catholic Worker House
Location: 1310 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50314
Telephone number - (515) 288-4326
Runs a number of social service programs, including a thrift store, food bank, and clothing closet. From time to time may also have funds for paying basic needs, such as electric bills, rent, or housing. Also get case management and referrals to government programs such as food stamps.

Christ Apostolic Temple
Main office - 1230 East 17th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50316
Dial (515) 265-2417

Cross Ministries - Cottage Grove Presbyterian Church
1050 24th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50311
(515) 279-9998
There is an emergency food pantry for Polk County families. Seasonal services provided by volunteers and donations include free Thanksgiving or Christmas meals and summer snacks for children.





Des Moines Community Action Agency
1618 6th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314
Phone number - (515) 248-6216
Work to become self-sufficient with programs offered by the Des Moines and Polk County community action agency. Short term aid offered can include vouchers for medications and food, grants for energy and electric bills, meals, and holiday assistance.

Downtown Food Pantry
Main address is 701 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 243-1381
Supports hundreds of people per year. Stop by for free meals or food for you and your family.

Dyersville Food Pantry
P.O.Box 22
Dyersville, Iowa 52040
Telephone number - (563) 875-7413
Rice, canned goods, fruits, vegetables, and more may be offered for Polk County families.

Eastside Church of the Nazarene
1451 East 25th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50317
(515) 265-6000
Clothing, basic needs, and Thanksgiving or Christmas meals may be served. Some seniors may qualify for home delivery from volunteers.

Eddie Davis Community Center
1312 Maple Street
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
(515) 277-1103
Children from low income families can drop in for a meal. There are also recreational activities held, holiday partners, and referrals to USDA food stamp application sites.

Eldora Food Shelf
Food pantry location is 714 6th Street
Eldora, IA 50627
Dial (515) 858-2577
Emergency food boxes, meals, and government surplus food can be provided to the low income, those faced with poverty, and seniors.

First Assembly of God - Food Pantry
2725 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, Iowa 50310
(515) 279-9766

First Church of the Open Bible - Des Moines
2200 Beaver Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50310
Call the pantry at (515) 274-9296
Emergency bags of food, groceries, rice, and frozen items may be offered. Most of the aid is for low income families.





First Federated Church
Church location is 4801 Franklin Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50310
(515) 255-2122

Friendship Baptist Center
1526 Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy
Des Moines, Iowa 50311
Call (515) 244-1701 to reach the center.
Free groceries, fresh food, and even items such as baby formula or diapers may be provided to families living in poverty.

Hickman Road Church of Christ
Address is 5217 Hickman Road
Des Moines, Iowa 50310
Dial (515) 255-8055
In addition to a food bank, may have free surplus USDA government commodities, baby formula, and more.

Islamic Center of Des Moines
Main address: 6201 Franklin Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50322
Call the pantry at (515) 255-0212

Lighthouse Full Gospel Baptist Church
Location of church is 1600 Capitol Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50316
Call (515) 262-3800 for hours of food center and more information.

The Narrow Gate
1696 Central Avenue
Dubuque, IA 52001
Phone number - (563) 556-4215
A free food pantry is on site. Both groceries and personal hygiene items may be passed out. Rice, soup, and more is generally offered in Polk County.

New Friendship Church of God in Christ
1317 Forest Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314
Dial (515) 243-7097
The church can provide meals, information on shelter and housing, Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets, and more.

The Pet Project Midwest
Location is 2200 North West 159th Street
Suite 400, PMB 310
Clive, Iowa 50325
(515) 727-4738







Red Rock Area Community Action - Polk County
Address: 406 South West School Street, Suite 305
Ankeny, IA 50021
Main phone number (515) 965-0433
Programs from this non-profit serve rural Polk County, which is basically anywhere outside Des Moines city limits. Call for free food or meals, clothing, and more. Counselors can also provide information and advice on housing issues, credit repair, and where to go to for help with medical care and bills.

Salvation Army Citadel (East)
1216 East 25th Court
Des Moines, Iowa 50317
(515) 266-3156
This Salvation Army serves East Des Moines and Pleasant Hill Iowa, which is zip codes 50317, 50327. There are also Christmas meal programs and toys, shelter, and various social services. Meals on Wheels may also be arranged for senior citizens or the disabled.

Salvation Army Family Services
1326 6th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50314
Main phone number - (515) 282-3422
Can help people faced with a crisis. Whether you need food or other support, call these charity organization for advice and support.

St. Benedict Mission
1224 Martin Luther King Parkway
Des Moines, IA 50314
Primary phone number is (515) 244-2986

St. Mary Family Center
Address of food pantry is 1815 Hubbell Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50316
Main phone - (515) 262-7290
A soup kitchen is also available.

West Des Moines Human Services
318 Fifth Street
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
(515) 222-3660
Has information on city and state of Iowa assistance programs, especially those for the low income, seniors, and families with children.

Polk County River Place
2309 Euclid Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50310
Main phone - (515) 286-3695
Non-essential items (soap, cleaning supplies, etc.) are offered along with up to 4 days of free food.

Urbandale Food Pantry
Location is 7611 Douglas Avenue, Suite 34
Urbandale, IA 50322
(515) 251-6688
Programs from the charity include a clothing closet, food pantry, and free health care screenings.

Lee Town Assembly Church
2720 State Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50317
Telephone: (515) 265-3784
Food Pantry is only for 50317.





Johnston Partnership Place
Address of pantry is 5730 North West 64th Place
Johnston, IA 50131
The food bank has personal grooming items, applications to SNAP food stamps, groceries, and more.

Find other free food programs near you in Des Moines area

For more information or referrals to other food pantries or government programs, dial 515.564.0330. Learn about the Back Pack program for students, USDA commodities, and other food programs for the working poor.


By Jon McNamara

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