Poverty in Jackson is real. By working in partnerships with local churches, schools, businesses, organizations and individuals, our food ministries exist to ensure we have a hunger-free community.
AFTER SCHOOL BACKPACK PROGRAM
During the school year, the After-School Backpack program provides a food-filled backpack each Friday to elementary aged children identified by their school as at risk of going hungry over the weekend.
Through partnerships with school districts and area churches, local children in need are provided with a backpack filled with non-perishable foods on a weekly basis throughout the school year. Hundreds of volunteers sort food, assemble deliver and distribute these backpacks each week, ensuring that children have food for the weekend.
Volunteers meet weekly to sort, assemble and deliver backpacks. Depending upon the church partner and school district, times and locations vary on when volunteers meet.
IN-SCHOOL FOOD PANTRIES
Our in-school food pantries support middle and high school aged students needing food assistance.
Many of our youth deal with the lack of food, school is often the least of their worries.Our in-school pantries are located on the grounds of a school and are intended to provide a more readily accessible source of food assistance to low-income students and their families.
By having food available at schools for youth to take home, our in-school pantries give students the opportunity to concentrate on being a successful student. Currently, our in-school food pantries support middle and high school aged students needing food assistance.
COMMUNITY FOOD PANTRIES
By collaborating with local churches, food is distributed in neighborhoods allowing for basic needs to be met and relationships with individuals to be built.
Our Community Food Pantries on Saturday mornings are more than just a food pantry. By partnering with local churches, our community pantries are designed to empower congregations to build relationships with individuals and families living in the churches neighborhood.
We provide a “pantry in a box” to the local church. Included are all of the resources necessary for the local congregation to meet the food needs of their neighbors. The local church provides the volunteers and of course, the joy, love and hope of God! The “pantry in a box” contains non-perishable food items as well as produce, bread and meat.
FRESH FOOD DISTRIBUTION
The Fresh Food Distribution (FFD) is an effective, efficient way to get fresh produce into neighborhoods on a monthly basis throughout the year.
Throughout the year, fresh produce is delivered to a number of locations throughout Jackson County. The produce delivered by the South Michigan Food Bank, is then unloaded and staged for distribution to area residents in need. Please check out our upcoming events page for specific locations and times. Volunteer needs vary at each location.
These food filled boxes are available to individuals when our community food pantries are closed.
We understand that food needs occur, and for some families and individuals, transportation to a local food pantry is not available. We also know that there are times when families and individuals need an emergency food bag until they can get to a community food pantry or store. Home deliveries occur when the family/individual in need calls the CMJC office. One to two non-perishable food bags are then delivered to the person(s) in need. Volunteer opportunities are limited.
From seeds started in our greenhouse, our nearly 30 raised vegetable beds provide fresh produce to those in need throughout the summer.
Our community garden located on the Compassionate Ministries of Jackson County campus, consists of a green house and 22 raised beds. The produce grown in and harvested from our raised beds, benefits families who visit our community food pantries.It also provides opportunities for families and individuals to volunteer their time together caring for the garden.
The community garden also serves as a vocational and recreational site for skill development for adult participants of our special needs ministry, David’s Promise.
BREAD OF LIFE
A free, homemade hot meal is served at one of our community food pantry locations
Our “Bread of Life” ministry provides a free, homemade hot meal to guests visiting the community food pantry at JaxNaz Church, located at 3905 Clinton Rd (M-50) in Jackson. Bread of Life provides the meal to guests the first and third Saturday of each month from 10am until 12noon.
During the Thanksgiving holiday season, Compassionate Ministries partners with local schools, providing Thanksgiving baskets to families in need. Each basket contains a turkey, potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie and much more. Together we can give families in need something to be thankful for.
Volunteers are needed in a number of ways such as obtaining the food that will go into the baskets from local grocery stores, staging the food for the basket assembly, basket assembly and of course, the delivery of the baskets to the schools.
Financial donations are need as well. Each basket costs approximately $40.
Please note: Each family that receives a basket is chosen by the local school district. Schools are given a specific number of baskets determined by Compassionate Ministries. Compassionate Ministries does not participate in the process that determines family eligibility.
During the Thanksgiving holiday season, Compassionate Ministries partners with local schools, providing Thanksgiving baskets to families in need. We also host a free community-wide Thanksgiving Day dinner at JaxNaz Church, located at 3905 Clinton Rd, (M-50) in Jackson. To volunteer, donate or get involved with either of these amazing events, please contact us below or call our offices at 517-395-2652.
FREE COMMUNITY-WIDE THANKSGIVING DAY DINNER
Each Thanksgiving, Compassionate Ministries host a free community-wide Thanksgiving Day dinner at JaxNaz Church, located at 3905 Clinton Rd, (M-50) in Jackson. The dinner is from 12noon-3pm. This traditional Thanksgiving meal is provided, free of charge, to everyone in our community. We need your support to make sure no family in need goes without Thanksgiving dinner.
Food donations are accepted and needed.
“The support that Compassionate Ministries of Jackson County provides helps to ensure that our most vulnerable students have guaranteed meals over the weekends. Students who are selected look forward to the support offered by the program and families continually thank us for the assistance. There is no greater reward than seeing a student leave our building knowing that they will have food security over the weekend.”
Northwest Community Schools