About

Desserts are always popular, but Free Lunch is committed to also serving healthy (and, when possible, hot) and nutritious foods.

The Free Lunch Program (FLP) began in January 1983 when two therapists from the Community Mental Health Center, wishing to address the concerns of their clients, spoke to a Lenten study group at St. Mary’s Parish about the need for a free meal for people in the community. The response was, “Let’s do it.”

By 1989, the Free Lunch Program had become a designated United Way agency and expanded to a six-day-a-week meal program with over 35 different religious, student, neighborhood, and social groups providing the meals. FLP volunteers now number over 900. Volunteer teams prepare and serve nutritious meals using their own food or the food from local restaurants, grocery stores, and food distributors via Table to Table Food Rescue Organization, and from items in the Free Lunch pantry obtained through the HACAP Food Reservoir.

The Free Lunch Program of Iowa City, an Equal Opportunity Provider, serves meals from noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday, all year long, to anyone who shows up at its location at 1105 S. Gilbert Court in Iowa City, Iowa.

Because of COVID-19 and for the safety of our clients, volunteers, and staff, the program’s lunch room is currently closed, and buffet-style service has been replaced with lunches to-go that may be picked up from a door on the north side of the building.


Contact us

Free Lunch Program of Iowa City

1105 S. Gilbert Court, Suite 100, Iowa City, IA 52240 (Map)

Director of Administrative Operations: icfreelunch@gmail.com 

Director of Kitchen and Volunteers: icfreelunchkitchen@gmail.com

Office phone: 319-337-6283 (messages checked daily)

You can also follow us on Facebook!

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