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.
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.
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
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 22 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.
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 as well to share with those in need.
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.
“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