Free Take n’ Bake Meals

Convivium is located in the heart of the North End of Dubuque where there is a significant need for healthy food.

Although it is still too soon to understand the full impact COVID-19 has had on low income and food insecure families, we do know that the virus has significantly increased the need for food as families struggle to make ends meet. Dubuque-based St. Stephen’s Food Bank (a branch of the River Bend Food Bank) reports an increase of 60% in distribution when comparing the numbers from June 2019 to June 2020. They also state they have seen a large increase of new individuals and families, people who have never visited a food bank or pantry before.


Our project

Because of this, Convivium looks to implement a new direct-service program that will help alleviate the need for healthy food in the North End. Our Free Take n’ Bake Meals will offer healthy, fully-prepared casseroles for families to pick-up once a week, for 12 weeks.

Using produce from our gardens that was originally intended for the restaurant, we will prepare 100 simple casseroles each week to give away on Thursdays starting September 10, 2020. To help eliminate common barriers of access for low-to moderate-income families, we will offer two pick up times each Thursday to accommodate first and second shift workers – 11 am to 1 pm and 3:30 to 6 pm (or until supplies last). We will also provide the meals at no cost; and we will distribute from our patio, located within walking distance of our target population and directly in front of a bus stop on Jackson Street.

The health of our residents is also important to us as many North End residents are considered to have increased health risks, many of which are diet related. Because of this, all meals will be made from scratch using real ingredients and include grains, proteins, and lots of vegetables. They will be prepared with basic kitchen tools, familiar ingredients, and recipes will be provided to encourage families to recreate the meals at home.


Get Involved!

If you would like to support this free meal program, consider making a donation to help feed families or volunteering your time to help assemble the meals! 

Take n’ Bake Dates for Pick Up:

September 10
September 17
September 24
October 1
October 8
October 15
October 22
October 29
November 5
November 12
November 19
November 25 (Wed.)

How you can help:


While there are many challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a few bright sides as well. One of those has been the willingness to support our neighbors in need. Your donation of $25 helps provide food for a family who is wondering where their next meal will come from.

Click here to make a donation today.


Help us create the meals! It takes a lot of work to make 100 casseroles from scratch each week. Tuesday mornings we prepare all of the ingredients and Wednesday evenings we assemble. We are limiting group sizes to 6 people – grab your family or friends and come join us for an evening of delicious fun!

Email if you are interested in volunteering.


Thank you to our generous supporters.

Convivium Urban Farmstead is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to create community around all aspects of food. Your patronage helps support our non-profit activities.