Winter Assistance 2021-2022

The listing below provides details about local resources offered during the winter and holiday season. This list will be updated as frequently as possible. If you have questions for the EveryStep staff, please contact us here. To view a listing of EveryStep’s programs and services, please download our Program Guide.

Download the EveryStep Program Guide. 

Thanksgiving Meals and Food

Sweet Tooth Community Fridge

1618 6th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314

Holiday Food Pick-up: Free food available.  

Availability: Monday, November 22nd 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The event may end sooner if they run out.

Eligibility:  Open to anyone. No questions asked.

Urban Dream

601 Forest Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314
(515) 288-4742

Thanksgiving Bag Giveaway: Urban Dreams will give away bags full of items for a Thanksgiving meal.

Availability: Tuesday, November 23rd 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The event may end sooner if bags run out.

Eligibility:  Open to anyone. One bag per family.

Christ the King Church

5711 SW 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50315
(515) 285-2888

In-Person Meal: Wednesday, November 24th at 6:15 p.m. in the Parish Hall.

Eligibility: Open to anyoneNo documentation or proof of income necessary.

St. Joseph's Catholic Church

3300 Easton Blvd
Des Moines, IA 50317
(515) 210-5399

Pick-up Meal: Thanksgiving Day 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. A pick-up time will be given upon registration.

Availability: Must sign-up by November 22ndCall 515-210-5399 between 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Eligibility: Open to anyone. No documentation or proof of income necessary.

Delivery meal: Thanksgiving Day

Availability: Must sign-up by November 22nd. Call 515-210-5399 between 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Eligibility: Delivery available to 50317, 50327, 50009 zip codes only. Name, address, and phone number needed when registering. Must be present for the delivery.

Hope Ministries – Hope Café

1310 6th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314
(515) 265-4277

In-Person Meal: Thanksgiving  12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Eligibility: Open to anyoneNo documentation or proof of income necessary.

Delivery Meal: Thanksgiving Day

Sign-up at www.hopeiowa.org or call.

Deadline to sign-up November 17th at 4:30 p.m. May close early if capacity is reached.

Eligibility: Delivery available to Des Moines metro area, including Ankeny, Indianola, and Waukee.Name, address, and phone number needed when registering. Must be present for the delivery.

West Des Moines Human Services

139 6th Street
West Des Moines, IA 50265
(515) 222-3660

November Grocery Card: Gift card in $25 increments.  Gift cards will be mailed.

Availability: Must register before Nov 11th online at www.wdm.iowa.gov/government/human-services/programs-services/holiday-assistance.

Eligibility: Residents of West Des Moines. Income guidelines are 200% Federal Poverty Level.

Other: Provide a form of identification for all household members, proof of address, and proof of income when registering, if you have not received recent services from WDM Human Services.

Bidwell Riverside Center

1203 Hartford Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50315
(515) 244-6251

Thanksgiving Meat: Meat packages vary and include a minimum of 10 pounds of meat. Meat Packages must be signed up for in advanced.

Availability: Sign-up begins November 1st by texting 515-346-8895, include first and last name, and birthdate. You can also call and leave a message with that information. You will receive a confirmation number.

Pick up dates:

    • Tuesday, November 9th 8:00 - 10:00 am, deadline to sign-up November 5th
    • Thursday, November 11th 4:00 - 6:00 pm, deadline to sign-up November 8th
    • Tuesday, November 16th 8:00 - 10:00 am, deadline to sign-up November 12th
    • Thursday, November 18th 4:00 - 6:00 pm, deadline to sign-up November 15th
    • Saturday, November 20th 8:00 am  1:00 pm, deadline to sign-up November 17th

Eligibility: Available to individuals who received services from the Bidwell Food Pantry in October or November 2021. Only one Thanksgiving Meat Package per household. 

Other: A valid photo ID for an adult must be presented at pick up. You must receive a confirmation number. Tuesday and Saturday events are no-contact pickup. Stay in the car. Thursday events pick up at pantry window.

Parks Community Thanksgiving Dinner – at Chucks Restaurant

3610 6th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50313
(515) 875-5229

Pick-up Meal: Thanksgiving Day

    • 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    • To sign-up call (515) 875-5229.
    • Deadline to sign-up November 24th at 12:00 p.m.
    • No dine-in option this year
    • Eligibility: Open to anyoneNo documentation or proof of income necessary.

Delivery meal: Thanksgiving Day

    • Deliveries will be dropped off between 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
    • Call (515) 875-5229 to sign-up.
    • Deadline to sign-up November 24th at 12:00 p.m.
    • Eligibility: Delivery available to zip codes 50302, 50309, 50310, 50311, 50312, 50313, 50314, 50315, 50316, and 50317. Limit of 8 meals per household. Name, address, and phone number needed when registering. Must be present for the delivery.
Waukee Area Christian Services

Westview Church (lower level)
1155 SE Boone Drive
Waukee, IA 50263
(515) 987-5523

Share Your Feast Thanksgiving: Food box with ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal. Sign-up online at WaukeeChristianServices.org/seasonal-programs/.

Availability: Sign-up online by November 11th.

Eligibility:  Qualified residents within Waukee School District. To be qualified proof of residency and identification for each member of the home must be brought to Waukee Christian Services during food pantry hours, after online application is completed. Individuals who have received services within the last three months may already be qualified. Once approved, individuals receive email confirmation with pick up instructions

Other: Cannot apply if receiving holiday services from any other organization.

Holiday Meals and Food

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church

3300 Easton Blvd
Des Moines, IA 50317
(515) 266-2226

Pick-up Meal: Christmas Day from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 pm. A pick-up time will be given upon registration.

Availability: Must call 515-266-6105 or 515-210-5399 to sign up.

Eligibility: Open to anyoneNo documentation or proof of income necessary.

 

Single Parent Provision

(515) 868-9252
www.singleparentprovision.org
spp@singleparentprovision.org

Single Moms Christmas Dinner: Catered meal and programming for single mothers and their children. Activities and programming provided for youth aged 0-18. A pick-up option will be provided for those who'd prefer not to gather.

Availability: Saturday, December 11th

Eligibility: Open to single mothers in central Iowa.

Other: Tickets ae $15 for mothers and $25 for a mother and her children. Scholarships available at smcdscholarship@singleparentprovision.org. Online registration required. Sign-up closes December 3rd. Those registered by November 3rd will be entered to win a gift card.

Christ Apostolic Temple

1230 E 17th Street
Des Moines, IA 50316
(515) 265-2417

Christmas Giveaway: Grocery boxes, pre-packaged toys, games for children, and adult gift bags. Drive through event.

Availability: Saturday, December 18th 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The event may end sooner if boxes run out. 

Eligibility: Open to anyone.

West Des Moines Human Services

139 6th Street
West Des Moines, IA 50265
(515) 222-3660

December Grocery Card: Gift card in $25 increments. Gift cards will be mailed.

Availability: Must register before December 9th online at www.wdm.iowa.gov/government/human-services/programs-services/holiday-assistance.

Eligibility: Residents of West Des Moines. Income guidelines are 200% Federal Poverty Level. Available to households not signing up for Adopt-A-Family or Giftland.

Other: Provide a form of identification for all household members, proof of address, and proof of income when registering, if you have not received recent services from WDM Human Services.

Bidwell Riverside Center

1203 Hartford Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50315
(515) 244-6251

Toy Pantry: Parent/Guardian may choose 1 toy for each child signed-up. Must pre-register.

Availability: Sign-up starts December 1st at the Bidwell Food Pantry during normal pantry hours, Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Choose a time to shop the Toy Pantry upon signing up.

Eligibility: Families with children ages 18 and younger. No income or area restrictions. Must have received a meal package from Bidwell in November or December 2021.

Other: Bring photo identification for the adult who picks up toys. Toys will be available on a first come, first served basis. Families can utilize the Toy Pantry as well as Toys for Tots.

Waukee Area Christian Services

Westview Church (lower level)
1155 SE Boone Drive
Waukee, IA 50263
(515) 987-5523

The Gift of Food: Food box and personal care items. Gifts available for children as well. www.WaukeeChristianServices.org/seasonal-programs/

Availability: Sign-up online by December 2nd

Eligibility:  Qualified residents within Waukee School District. To be qualified proof of residency and identification for each member of the home must be brought to Waukee Christian Services during food pantry hours, after online application is completed. Individuals who have received services within the last three months may already be qualified. Once approved, individuals receive email confirmation with pick up instructions.

Other: Cannot apply if receiving holiday services from any other organization.

Dallas County Sheriff’s Benevolent Association

201 Nile Kinnick Drive North
Adel, IA 50003
(515) 993-4771

Food Basket: Delivered boxes filled with meat, canned food, bread, milk, eggs, potatoes, gift certificates donated by local restaurants and businesses, sweets for the children, toys and various other foods and sundries. Nominate a family online at www.dallascountyiowa.gov/government/public-safety/sheriff/benevolent-association/shop-with-a-cop-food-basket-program.

Availability: Sign-up online by December 13th. The list may fill up and close before the deadline.

Eligibility: Dallas County residents experiencing financial hardship.

Other: Limited number of applicants can be chosen.

Eastview Community Center

4101 E University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50317
(515) 809-2356

Breakfast with Santa: Free pancake breakfast, cookie walk, activities for kids, pictures with Santa.

Availability: Saturday, December 4th 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Eligibility: Open to anyone

Genesis Youth Foundation

Hope & Elim building
2500 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
(515) 710-6838

The Giving Table: Culturally appropriate food that is familiar to African refugee and immigrant families, although anyone in central Iowa experiencing food insecurity is welcome to receive food. Sign-up available on the website: https://www.genesisyouthfoundation.org/giving-table.

Availability: Saturday, December 11th 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Eligibility: Open to anyone, while supplies last.

Hope Ministries – Hope Café

1310 6th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314
(515) 265-4277

In-Person Meal: Christmas Day from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Eligibility: Open to anyone. No documentation or proof of income necessary.

Delivery meal: Christmas Day

Sign-up at www.hopeiowa.org or call.

Deadline to sign-up December 19th at 4:30 p.m. May close early if capacity is reached.

Eligibility: Delivery available to Des Moines metro area. Name, address, and phone number needed when registering. Must be present for the delivery.

Holiday Toys and Gifts

Highland Park Community Church

4101 Amherst Street
Des Moines, IA 50313

Give Dignity Holiday Shop: Give Dignity is a holiday shop for parents needing financial assistance while still being able to choose, purchase, and wrap gifts for their children. New toys and gifts are available for 70% off original prices. 2 gift per child limit.

Availability: December 20th to 23rd from 10:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.; December 23rd after 6:30 p.m. Christmas Eve service.

Eligibility: Open to anyone.

Other: Items are first come first served. One participant form needs to be filled out per family.

Urban Dreams & The Supply Hive

601 Forest Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314

Give Joy Holiday Shop: Give Joy is a holiday shop for parents needing financial assistance while still being able to choose, purchase, and wrap gifts for their children. New toys and gifts are available for 90% off original prices. Two gift per child limit.

Availability: December 10th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; December 11th from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 pm

Eligibility: Open to anyone.

Other: Items are first come first served.

Earlham Church of Christ

535 NW 6th Street
Earlham, IA 50072
(515) 991-0642

Earlham Christmas Share: Shop “garage sale style” for new and gently used toys, clothes, and household items.

Availability: Saturday, December 11th 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Eligibility:  Open to anyone.

Evelyn K. Davis

1171 7th Street
Des Moines, IA 50314
(515) 697-7700

Toys for Tots: Sign up online at: https://www.evelynkdaviscenter.org/Pages/welcome.aspx.

Availability: Sign-up by November 29th.

Eligibility:  Families with children ages 14 and younger.

Other: Can only apply for Toys for Tots at one location.

West Des Moines Human Services

139 6th Street
West Des Moines, IA 50265
(515) 222-3660

Adopt-a-Family: Must register before December 9th online at www.wdm.iowa.gov/government/human-services/programs-services/holiday-assistance.

Eligibility: Residents of West Des Moines with children ages 18 and younger. Income guidelines are 200% Federal Poverty Level.

Other: Provide a form of identification for all household members, proof of address, and proof of income when registering, if you have not received recent services from West Des Moines Human Services.

US Marine Toys for Tots

des-moines-ia.toysfortots.org

Availability: Sign-up periods vary by location. Listing of locations which offer Toys for Tots sign-up.

Eligibility: Varies by location. Listing of locations which offer Toys for Tots sign-up.

Bidwell Riverside Center

1203 Hartford Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50315
(515) 244-6251

Toy Pantry: Parent/guardian may choose 1 toy for each child signed-up. Must pre-register.

Availability: Sign-up starts December 1st at the Bidwell Food Pantry during normal pantry hours (Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). Choose a time to shop the Toy Pantry upon signing up.

Eligibility: Families with children ages 18 and younger. No income or area restrictions. Must have received a meal package from Bidwell in November or December 2021.

Other: Bring photo identification for the adult who picks up toys. Toys will be available on a first come, first served basis. Families can utilize the Toy Pantry as well as Toys for Tots.

Dallas County Sheriff's Benevolent Association

201 Nile Kinnick Drive North
Adel, IA 50003
(515) 993-4771

Shop With a Cop: Positive interaction with an officer for at risk or low-income children. Nominate a family online at www.dallascountyiowa.gov/government/public-safety/sheriff/benevolent-association/shop-with-a-cop-food-basket-program.

Availability: Sign-up online by November 25th. The list may fill up and close before the deadline.

Eligibility: Dallas County residents, children ages 6-12, experiencing financial hardship.

Other: Limited number of applicants can be chosen.

New Opportunities Dallas County Family Development Center

1212 Second Street
Perry, IA 50220
(515) 465-5185

Adopt-a-Family: Applications are sent out to school counselors, Head Start Programs, or can be picked up in the Dallas County Office.

Availability: Applications accepted Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. until November 12th.

Eligibility: Dallas County residents with children aged 14 years and younger whose income is at or below 200% Federal Poverty Level. Parents must have primary custody of the children. West Des Moines residents should see WDM Community Services, Waukee residents should see Waukee Area Christian Services.

Other: Families must complete an intake form and provide identification for all members of household, proof of address, proof of income for last 30 days or annual income amount.

Salvation Army

(515) 282-3599
www.saangeltree.org

Angel Tree: Food and toys for childrenPick-up determined upon sign-up.

Availability: Sign-up by December 3rd online at www.saangeltree.org. Sign-up may close early if capacity is met.

Eligibility:  families with children ages 12 and younger.

Other: ID and proof of income required at time of pick-up.

Single Parent Provision

(515) 868-9252
www.singleparentprovision.org
spp@singleparentprovision.org

Family Gift Mart: The Family Gift Market is a free event for single parents and their children to shop for one another at Christmas! The team of volunteers help children select, wrap, and label a gift for their registered parent, while parents shop in an adjacent room selecting a gift for each one of their children.

Availability: Saturday, December 18th

Eligibility: Open to single parents in central Iowa.

Other: Registration is required. Limited number of spaces available. Link will be posted on website.

Urbandale Community Action Network (UCAN)

(515) 278-3936
info@urbandalenetwork.org

Holiday Helping Hands: Connects families in need with community partners & sponsors. Clothing, household items, gifts for children.

Availability: Sign-up online by November 15th. Sign-up may close early if capacity is met.  

Eligibility: Income eligible residents of Urbandale or Urbandale School District.  Income guidelines listed on UCAN website.

Other: Every family must complete a new client application form as well as a holiday application form. Bring a form of identification for all household members, proof of address, and proof of income. Cannot apply if receiving services from another holiday assistance program, except Toys for Tots.

Waukee Area Christian Services

Westview Church (lower level)
1155 SE Boone Drive
Waukee, IA 50263
(515) 987-5523

Christmas Gifts for Kids: Gifts for children available with sign-up for the Gift of Food food box program.

Availability: Sign-up online by December 2nd

Eligibility:  Qualified residents within Waukee School District. To be qualified proof of residency and identification for each member of the home must be brought to Waukee Christian Services during food pantry hours, after online application is completed. Individuals who have received services within the last three months may already be qualified. Once approved, individuals receive email confirmation with pick up instructions.

Other: Cannot apply if receiving holiday services from any other organization, including Toys for Tots.

Other Winter Assistance

Ankeny Community Engagement: Project Fresh Start

Prairie Ridge Middle School
1010 NW Prairie Ridge Drive
Ankeny, IA 50023
(515) 491-2049

Winter Clothing Drive Giveaway: Project Fresh Start, supported by Ankeny Community Engagement, is an Ankeny-based volunteer program. Project Fresh Start coordinated donations of winter clothing. The giveaway provides coats, hats, mittens, and snow pants to Ankeny students.

Availability: Saturday, November 13th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 14th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Eligibility: Ankeny Community School District students only (Ankeny Christian Academy and St. Luke’s included). Also available to Ankeny homeschool students.

Polk County Veteran Affairs

Polk County River Place
2309 Euclid Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50310
(515) 286-3670

Winter Coat Drive Giveaway: Giveaway takes place in rooms 3 & 3A of the Polk County River Place building.

Availability: Friday, November 12th

Eligibility: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Veterans and their families only; 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. open to the public.

Other: Photo ID of Veterans Status required during Veterans hours.

West Des Moines Human Services

139 6th Street
West Des Moines, IA 50265
(515) 222-3660

Winter Coat Giveaway: Free new and gently used coats for children and adults. Distribution takes place at West Des Moines Human Services.

Availability: October 13th and 14th 1:00 to 7:00 p.m.;October 15th 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Eligibility: Income eligible residents of West Des Moines, Clive, Windsor Heights.

Other: Appointments can be made by contacting HumanServices@wdm.iowa.gov or calling 515-222-3660. Limited walk-ins available.  

IMPACT Community Action Partnership

Attn: Energy Team
3226 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
(515) 518-4770
impactcap.org

Closed to walk-ins.

EMBRACE Iowa: EMBRACE is a financial assistance program funded by the Des Moines Register that can provide up to $750 towards the purchase of appliances, mattresses, car repairs, dental service, medication, tires, or other miscellaneous needs. This program cannot provide immediate financial assistance. IMPACT will notify families of approval or denial after the application period ends. Availability: Applications open from November 26, 2021 until January 28, 2022. Eligibility: Residents of Boone, Jasper, Marion, Polk and Warren counties with income at or below 200% Federal Poverty Level. Other: Applications available (English & Spanish) on the website. They can be mailed to the address above, Attn: EMBRACE or placed in the drop box at IMPACT.  The application can also be completed via phone appointment. If you would like to share your story with the Des Moines Register, please complete page 2 of the application. Identification for all household members, proof of last 30 days or previous years income, and invoice or estimated cost of items required with application.

LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program): A program designed to aid low-income families in the payment of a portion of their heating costs for the winter season, to promote energy awareness and to encourage a reduction of energy usage through energy efficiency and client education. Payments are based on family income, demographic factors, and fuel type. Applications: Applications begin