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Johnson County Iowa area free Christmas assistance.

A few local agencies offer assistance during the holidays, and families in both Johnson and Washington County (as well as nearby regions) can get free Christmas gifts, toys, food boxes and more. There are also other holiday programs, namely free Thanksgiving dinners, meals, turkeys, or other goods.

The primary options in both Iowa City and the nearby counties are below. Free Christmas toys for boys or girls are usually passed out in November or December (based on approved registrations), and holiday meals and food boxes are also often passed out. Some of the main programs available to low income families, the working poor, elderly, and others include:

-Toys for Tots in Iowa City.
-Salvation Army Angel Tree.
-Free food pantries or Meals for Wheels.
-Free Christmas present giveaways, distributions, and toy programs.

Each agency will only help one family. They will not duplicate services, and local families can only apply for holiday help from one charity or non-profit at a time.

Regional Toys for Tots is a volunteer and donation driven service. Various non-profits collect toys, gifts, games, books and other items and pass them out for free as Christmas gifts. Kids under the age of 14 can get a present, provided their household meets the income targets and limits in place. Applications and toys are provided from October to December. The main partners are Salvation Army of Johnson County (1116 S Gilbert Court, Iowa City, IA  52240) as well as North Liberty Community Pantry (89 N Jones Blvd., North Liberty IA  52317).

The Crisis Center of Johnson County
Location is 1121 S Gilbert Ct
Iowa City, Iowa 52240
Main number is (319) 351-2726
They operate a few different holiday programs. They may pass out free food, meals, and gift baskets. There will also be small toys, stocking stuffers, and other gifts passed out too.





Shelter House
Main address is 429 Southgate Ave
Iowa City, Iowa 52240
For hours, dial (319) 351-0326
The homeless can get a hot holiday meal, Thanksgiving dinner, and other help. Warm blankets, winter clothes, and other goods may also be given out.

Coralville Community Food Pantry
Location is 1002 5th St
Coralville, IA 52241
(319) 337-3663
Everything from free Turkey meals to food boxes, small Christmas toys, and more is given out. They also use volunteers to help serve a holiday meal, at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Senior citizens or the disabled may also have a frozen holiday meal delivered to their home.


By Jon McNamara

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