Holiday meal questions?

ISU Extension & Outreach can help

An Iowa State University Extension & Outreach foursome are ready and eager to help consumers with holiday meal preparations.

All one has to do is call toll-free 800-262-3804. or send an

Callers will get help from an experienced and friendly professional and not a recording.

Specialists Marlene Geiger, Beth Marrs, Liz Meimann, and Marcia Steed are prepared to answer a variety of questions free-of-charge.

And they expect to be busy today and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We have been getting 130-140 calls per day,” said Meimann. “Our busiest days are the Friday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving.”

She said the team foregoes their lunch hours those days so callers can be helped promptly.

“We get a lot of questions about thawing and cooking a turkey or turkey breast,” said Meimann. “Others want to know if it is safe to prepare a dish ahead of time. Many callers want to make and freeze a pie in advance.”

And the help does not end Wednesday.

The foursome will resume duties Nov. 27 to answer more questions for Christmas and New Year food preparation.

Extension’s hotline is unique — it operates year around and has been helping consumers for more than 40 years, according to its website.

It receives 20,000 calls annually.

When not answering questions about holiday meals, it provides free-of-charge advice about a host of other subjects ranging from child development to weed control to stain removal.

And not only Iowans call — Extension offers a toll-free number to Minnesotans, 800-854-1678, and South Dakotans. 888-393-6336.

Additionally AnswerLine can be accessed on social media sites.

They are: Blog:


Twitter: @AnswerLine

For more information, contact 800-262-3804, (800-732-2942 for Iowa Relay for disabled). Also Email –


Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or