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 receive a backpack filled with nonperishable foods for the weekend throughout the school year. During the 2020-2021 school year, CMJC distributed 15,209 bags of food to children at 19 area schools. This school year we are providing approximately 700 backpacks to area children and youth each week.
IN-SCHOOL FOOD PANTRIES
Our in-school food pantries support middle and high school aged students needing food assistance.
Our Community Food Pantries 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 neighborhood of the church. In 2020, we provided food to 12,109 families representing 29,823 individuals. We currently provide food for 14 community pantries throughout Jackson County.
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.
Throughout the year we partner with businesses, schools, and organizations who host non-perishable food drives which benefit CMJC food minstries.
During each summer harvest, CMJC's Blessing Barn provides fresh produce grown from our community garden to anyone in need. We also invite local residents to drop off any extra homegrown produce they have to share with those in need.
COMMUNITY FOOD PANTRIES
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.
CMJC provides non-perishable food items, as well as meat, produce, and occasionally dairy and eggs to our church partners to distribute. CMJC provides the food and our church partners provide the volunteers to distribute the food, and of course, the love and hope of God!
FRESH FOOD DISTRIBUTION
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.
“Compassionate Ministries has been a consistent source of food security and support for the families of the Lyle Torrant Center for the past several years; providing a weekly supply of food to support families in need, allowing their bodies to be fed during the time their children are not in school, supporting the well-being of the students and families.”
Lyle Torrant and Kit Young Centers