CommUnity’s Project Holiday returns for 34th year

For the 34th year, CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank plans to provide over 1,300 families with all the ingredients needed to make a traditional holiday dinner. Project Holiday meals include choice of entrée, sides, vegetables and a variety of other grocery items needed to prepare a holiday meal.

The price of this year’s holiday feasts are predicted to be the most expensive meals in the history of the holidays. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, prices will be higher on just about everything. According to the farm bureau, the average cost of preparing a holiday dinner in 2020 was about $47, and it’s expected to cost up to 5% more this year.

“The last year has been very challenging for many in our community, and the need has been even greater,” said Nicole Kilmer, CommUnity’s director of marketing and communications. Of the 3,903 families who visited the food pantry this year, 563 were first time visitors, she added.

All individuals and families living or staying in Johnson County are eligible to receive a meal. Sign-up takes place through Nov. 30. Those who have not registered in advance can show up during the week of the Project Holiday distribution to pick up a meal, based on availability.

“For every $25 donated, we’re able to provide all of the ingredients for a holiday meal. It’s a simple gift that gives families an opportunity to gather and celebrate,” said Julia Winter, director of development.

Project Holiday distribution will take place at CommUnity’s Food Pantry at Pepperwood Plaza, located at 1045 Highway 6 East in Iowa City. The food can be picked up Dec. 13-18 during regular food pantry hours. Pop-up distributions will also take place in Coralville on Dec. 14 and North Liberty on Dec. 15. The Project Holiday food is also available by delivery.

To learn more about Project Holiday, to volunteer, or to donate, visit