We recognize that poverty in Jackson is real. Recent data shows that 30% of our children live in poverty, which is a 47% increase in six years. In the past five years, God has provided the resources for our Hunger ministries to provide food to 32,000 families equating to nearly 450 tons of food! Our food ministries assist our community in a variety of ways at different times throughout year. It takes hundreds of volunteers throughout Jackson County to assist in our efforts to make sure no one goes hungry in our community.
The After-School Backpack program provides a backpack to area children who have been identified by their school as at risk of going hungry over the weekend. Each week during the school year, the children are given backpacks filled with non-perishable foods. These backpacks are assembled by CMJC volunteers and church partners which include, First Church of the Nazarene, The Beacon Church, and Springport United Methodist Church. Currently, we provide 280 backpacks each week to children at Hanover-Horton Elementary, Kit Young Center, Lyle Torrant Center, McCulloch Elementary, Northwest Early Elementary, Parkside Middle School, and Springport Elementary.
Our mobile food pantry is available to those who are in need of food, but unable to travel to our food pantry. Guests can visit the mobile site at ten locations throughout Jackson County. On the first Saturday of the month, guests can visit the Brooklyn Food Pantry. On the second Saturday of the month, we distribute at Pentecostal Church in Michigan Center. On the fourth Saturday of the month, volunteers distribute food at Bethesda Church of God in Christ, Blair Park, Chalet Terrace, Park Forest, Reed Manor, Sherman Oaks, Village Hope Church-Parma and the Woodland Hills apartment complex. Distribution times vary per site location.
Compassionate Ministries mobile food pantry partners with a number of Jackson area churches. They are: Bethesda Church of God in Christ, First Church of the Nazarene, The Beacon Church, Pentecostal Lighthouse Church, St. John’s United Church of Christ, Village Hope Church-Jackson, and Village Hope Church-Parma.
Our food pantry is open the first and third Saturday of each month, from 10-12pm. We are also open by appointment on Tuesday and Wednesday from 1-3p. Families and individuals are welcome to come as often as they need. Since 2010, we have served just over 100,000 individuals at our food pantry.
The Fresh Food Initiative (FFI) distributions are an effective, efficient way to get fresh produce, dairy products and other grocery items into neighborhoods. We distribute throughout the summer at the First Church of the Nazarene located in Blackman Township, just north of the city of Jackson.
While our food pantry is open on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, volunteers prepare a homemade meal, available for each one of our guests. The Bread of Life ministry provides opportunities for community to be built while sharing a meal with one another.
During the Thanksgiving holiday season, CMJC partners with local schools, providing Thanksgiving baskets to families in need. Each basket contains a turkey, potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie and much more. The schools we partner with and provide baskets to, are: Bennett Elementary, Hunt Elementary, Kit Young Center, Lyle Torrant Center, McCulloch Elementary, Northwest Early Elementary, Northeast Elementary, Parkside Middle School, Parma Elementary, and Springport Elementary.
Each Thanksgiving, CMJC hosts a Thanksgiving Dinner in which a traditional Thanksgiving meal is provided, free of charge, to anyone in our community at First Church of the Nazarene. Additionally, we provide and deliver the dinner to the officers on duty at Blackman Public Safety, as well as the residents at the Jackson Friendly Home and John George Home respectively.
Our Blessing Bags ministry is designed as an easy way to provide emergency food to someone in need as you are on the go. Whether traveling to work, shopping or even if you are on vacation, these portable bags have non-perishable food items, toiletries and a water bottle packed, ready to give away to someone in need.